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Khan family speaks out after Trump claims army captain 'would be alive today' if he were president

Donald Trump once again drew the ire of the family of a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq in 2004, after comments he made at Sunday's presidential town hall debate in St. Louis.

'The only thing that Donald Trump sacrifices is the truth,' says Gold Star family

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the presidential town hall debate with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in St. Louis on Sunday. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Donald Trump once again drew the ire of the family of a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq in 2004, after comments he made at Sunday's presidential town hall debate in St. Louis.

The comments came after Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, when responding to an audience member's question about Islamophobia, evoked the name of the late Capt. Humayun Khan, whose Pakistan-born father gave an impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention in July.

"First of all, Captain Khan is an American hero, and if I were president at that time, he would be alive today, because unlike her, who voted for the war without knowing what she was doing, I would not have had our people in Iraq," said Trump in response. "Iraq was disaster. So he would have been alive today."

The Khan family responded in a statement to the debate comments: "Our son served this country with honour and distinction, and gave the ultimate sacrifice. The only thing that Donald Trump sacrifices is the truth."

The Republican candidate in his answer repeated the claim he was opposed to the war in Iraq. While he was not in public office and subject to a binding vote, the claim is seemingly belied by lukewarm support he expressed for the invasion in an interview during that time period on Howard Stern's radio show.

In this July 28, 2016 file photo, Khizr Khan, father of fallen US Army Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan holds up a copy of the Constitution of the United States during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

On the campaign trail earlier this year, Trump said, "By the time the war started, I was against it, and shortly after, I was really against it."

Khizr Khan, Humayun's father, earned applause at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia in July by blasting Trump's calls to ban Muslims and build a wall between the southern U.S. border and Mexico.

"Have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy," he said.

After the appearance by the Gold Star family at the convention, Trump criticized Khan's parents, which dismayed veterans and several high-ranking Republican officials.

With files from The Associated Press

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