NEWS BRIEF Before President Obama could get to the meat of his speech to a disabled veterans’ group on Monday, he had to get one thing off his chest: his own repudiation of Donald Trump’s response to the parents of Army Captain Humayun Khan. Trump’s comments on the Khan parents, who have spoken out about his anti-Muslim rhetoric, have drawn ire from across the political spectrum, with leaders gob-smacked that the Republican nominee for the presidency would criticize parents who lost their son in war. It seemed only a matter of time until the commander-in-chief would weigh in; speaking in front of a veterans’ organization gave him an opening.
“There’s a reason why last week in Philadelphia I was humbled to be introduced by Sharon Belkofer from Ohio, a Gold Star mom whose son, Tom, a lieutenant colonel in the Army, gave his life in Afghanistan,” Obama told a meeting of the Disabled American Veterans, referencing his speech at the Democratic National Convention. A parent receives a Gold Star designation when their child is killed in combat. “I requested Sharon to introduce me, because I understood that our Gold Star families have made a sacrifice that most of us cannot even begin to imagine. They represent the very best of our country. They continue to inspire us every day, every moment. They serve as a powerful reminder of the true strength of America.”