Ryan opponent: Trump ‘shouldn’t be beat up’ about Khan family

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Nehlen, Ryan

A Republican running for Congress said GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump “shouldn’t be beat up” about his statements about a Muslim family who spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

Businessman Paul Nehlen, who is challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan in a primary in the 1st Congressional District, was lauded Monday in a tweet by Trump for his “kind words.”

Nehlen spent Monday on his twitter page, posting stories supporting Trump and questioning Ryan’s repudiation of Trump’s comments against Khizr Khan. Khan spoke at the DNC last week about his son, a U.S. Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004. In his speech he questioned Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim travel to America, as well as his patriotism saying Trump had “sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Trump pushed back in an interview, questioning whether Khan’s wife was allowed to speak, and comparing their sacrifice to his “creating thousands of jobs.”

Nehlen’s twitter posts questioned the Khan’s backgrounds, and attacked Ryan for “misrepresenting” Trump’s positions.

Ryan released a statement saying the family should be honored and not attacked.

News 3 asked Nehlen whether he thought it was appropriate how Trump had been speaking about the family.

“Yeah,” Nehlen said. “I think that Mr. Trump shouldn’t be beat up about speaking about his family. That’s what I think.”

When asked why, Nehlen said Trump’s statements have been misunderstood.

“Mr. Trump is not vilifying the fact that this was an American hero. He’s vilifying the fact that they got up and used something from 2004 to politicize this,” Nehlen said. “They had a great opportunity to get on stage and say we have a problem in this country, we need to protect Americans in this country, Muslim Americans, African-Americans, white Americans, Latino-Americans, and we have a problem. San Bernardino, why shouldn’t Muslims in a nightclub be protected? And why shouldn’t they be protected in Chattanooga? Protected everywhere?”

News 3 tried to follow up and ask whether it was fair for a Muslim family to talk about how a proposed policy would affect them, but the interview was abruptly ended by an aide.

Ryan was not available for an interview Tuesday, but a spokesman said in a statement, “Rather than engage in a back-and-forth, the speaker is going to remain focused entirely on ensuring we deliver strong Republican majorities this fall.”