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Khizr Khan: I Feel Sorry for GOP Leaders Who Have to Respond to Trump

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

Khizr Khan, the father of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2004, said in a new interview that he feels sorry for Republican leaders who have been forced to walk the tightrope of condemning Donald Trump’s attacks on his family without retracting their endorsements of the GOP presidential candidate.

“It is so sad that this candidate [Donald Trump] is putting through our leaders—that they have to give these kind of statements, they have to clarify their positions, explain his thoughtlessness, his compass-less, his total lack of empathy,” Khan told TIME of Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Sen. John McCain.

See also: Donald Trump Won’t Endorse Paul Ryan or John McCain in Primaries

“That they have to explain that they have to—it shouldn’t be at that level. They shouldn’t be responding, wasting their time to distance themselves from this candidate. But unfortunately, here we are.”

Khan and his wife Ghazala have become something of a flashpoint in the presidential race after speaking out against Trump last week at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Trump has responded by attacking the Khans repeatedly. At one point, he noted that Ghazala Khan stood silently during the convention speech, and implied she wasn’t allowed to speak because of their Muslim faith. “I’d like to hear his wife say something,” Trump told the New York Times. “Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say, you tell me.”

See also: How Muslim-American Women Are Proving Donald Trump Wrong

Those comments sparked a further firestorm, but Ghazala Khan said she wasn’t offended. “I don’t think I’m offended because if someone doesn’t know about Islam what do you expect from him to say? He will say whatever he wants to,” she said.

“But I don’t believe in him and I know how strong the women are in Islam. They are the heart of the husband and of the family.”

Looking at Ghazala, her husband smiled and said: “She is my rock.”