REPUBLICAN presidential hopeful Donald Trump has attracted outrage by mocking a dead United States Muslim soldier’s mother.
Ghazala Khan stood silently next to her husband as he attacked Mr Trump in an emotional speech to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.
Mr Trump suggested she may not have been allowed to speak.
Republicans and Democrats said the Republican candidate’s comments were no way to talk of a hero’s mother. Mrs Khan said she was upset by his remarks.
Last week her husband Khizr Khan told Democrats Mr Trump had sacrificed “nothing and no-one” for his country.
At the convention in Philadelphia, he said his son would not even have been in America if it had been up to Mr Trump, who has called for a ban on Muslims entering the US, BBC said.
Humayun Khan was killed by a car bomb in 2004 in Iraq at the age of 27.
Mr Trump responded to the criticism in an interview with ABC’s This Week.
“If you look at his wife, she was standing there,” he said, “She had nothing to say… Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”
But former president Bill Clinton, the husband of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, said: “I cannot conceive how he can say that about a Gold Star mother.”
Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine said Mr Trump’s remarks were inappropriate.
“He was kind of trying to turn that into some kind of ridicule,” he said, quoted by AP. “It just demonstrates again kind of a temperamental unfitness. If you don’t have any more sense of empathy than that, then I’m not sure you can learn it.”
Some Republicans also rounded on their candidate.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, a former rival to Mr Trump for the Republican nomination, tweeted: “There’s only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honour and respect.”
In an interview for ABC on Saturday, Ghazala Khan said: “When I was standing there, all of America felt my pain, without a single word. I don’t know how he missed that.”
“Please Mr Trump, feel that pain and you will be better.
“I was upset when I heard that I didn’t say anything because I was in pain.”
Khizr Khan said that Mr Trump was “devoid of feeling the pain of a mother who has sacrificed her son”.
“Running for president is not an entitlement to disrespect… a Gold Star mother, shame on him,” he said.
“He has no decency, he has a dark heart.”
Mrs Khan said on Friday that she did not speak during her husband’s speech because she was still overcome with grief and could not look at her son’s photos without crying