Fight with Khan family tests Trump’s ‘say anything’ strategy

From The Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s presidential bid has thrived on controversy of his own making. Now, the Republican nominee kicks off the first full week of the general election campaign having put his strategy of saying the politically unimaginable to its greatest test yet.

Trump broke a major American political and societal taboo over the weekend when he engaged in an emotionally-charged feud with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the bereaved parents of a decorated Muslim Army captain killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq. He further stoked outrage by implying Ghazala Khan did not speak while standing alongside her husband at last week’s Democratic convention because they are Muslim.

The outcry was swift and bipartisan, leaving Trump largely isolated among his fellow Republicans and potentially putting at risk whatever progress the New Yorker had made during his convention at winning over the independent voters who will likely decide the fall election.

“I am appalled that Donald Trump would disparage them and that he had the gall to compare his own sacrifices to those of a Gold Star family,” said New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican seeking re-election in one of the nation’s most competitive Senate contests.

Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued statements praising Capt. Humayun Khan, awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart after the U.S. soldier was killed in Iraq in 2004. Though neither explicitly mentioned Trump, the congressional leaders pointedly denounced his proposed ban on foreign Muslims entering the country, a policy he had altered in recent weeks but nevertheless one that returned to the center of the campaign debate via his attacks …

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