Comrade of dead soldier slams Trump
A US army veteran who served alongside Captain Humayun Khan in Iraq says he has changed his mind and will vote for Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election, claiming Donald Trump's attack on the family of the fallen Muslim American soldier "forced my hand and made it personal".
Miles Smith, a Texas-born dual American-Australian citizen who heard the suicide bombing that killed Captain Khan, said he was outraged by the Republican presidential candidate's attempts to smear the Khan parents.
"[Mr Khan's] family has sacrificed more than Mr Trump ever has for the country," Mr Smith told 'The West Australian'. "Why would he even entertain the idea of discriminating against that, because they have a different religious belief? It's not the America I fought for. It's not the America I'm sure Humayun fought for."
Mr Smith (37), who served until 2006 and now works as a geologist in Western Australia, said he was upset that "one of the worst days of [my] life" - the day of the suicide attack in 2004 - was being used as the basis for Mr Trump's political attacks.
"You've got to have a bit of empathy and stop and think about what Humayun's parents are thinking. It's not hard," he said. "He wants this to go away. I'm going to do what I can here to kick the ball forward, continue their [the Khans'] message and stand up for them."
Mr Trump has been roundly condemned for his attacks on the Khan parents and his suggestion that Ghazala Khan, the soldier's mother, was prevented from speaking at the Democratic National Convention because of her religion.
Referring to Mr Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the US, Mr Smith said: "You're sitting down and some [jerk] on TV is saying Muslims are a threat to the country and they shouldn't have constitutionally protected rights to be there?"