Trump-Khan feud: A timeline

Trump-Khan feud: A timeline
© Greg Nash

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE’s fight with the parents of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq is the latest controversy in his campaign that has left Republicans struggling to distance themselves from their own presidential nominee.

Here’s a full timeline of the events.

Thursday, July 28

Khizr Khan, whose son Capt. Humayun Khan was killed during the Iraq War in 2004, gave an impassioned speech denouncing Trump on the final night of the Democratic National Convention — just an hour or so before Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE took the stage.

Brandishing a pocket Constitution, Khan hammered Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and asked what Trump has sacrificed for his country.

“Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America,” Khan said, addressing Trump. “You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Khan’s wife, Ghazala, stood by his side while he spoke but did not address the crowd.

The speech gained widespread buzz as one of the most compelling performances of the convention.

Friday, July 29

In an appearance on MSNBC's “Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell,” Ghazala Khan explained why she did not speak during her husband’s speech.

She discussed her initial reluctance to appear on stage with her husband, describing her ongoing grief.

“I cannot even come in the room where his pictures are,” Ghazala Khan said. “That's why when I saw the picture at my back [on stage in Philadelphia] I couldn't take it, and I controlled myself at that time.”

Saturday, July 30

Trump offered his first response to Khan’s speech in an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, segments of which were published Saturday afternoon.

The GOP candidate questioned why Ghazala Khan did not speak.

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there,” he said. “She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say.”

The remarks played to stereotypes about Muslim households by suggesting that Ghazala Khan might not have spoken because she was being subservient to her husband.

Trump also took on Khan’s criticism about sacrifices, saying he had made “a lot of sacrifices.” Pressed by Stephanopoulos, the real estate tycoon said that he had “created thousands and thousands of jobs” and “built great structures.”

Sunday, July 31

9:30 a.m.

The full interview aired on national television at 9 a.m. EDT. At 9:30, Trump defended himself against the backlash that began brewing after the first clips were published the day before.

“I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!” he tweeted.


In a Washington Post op-ed, Ghazala Khan wrote that it was “not true” that she wasn’t allowed to speak at Philadelphia. She chose not to, she explained, because she feared she would break down.

“My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not,” she wrote.

“When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant. If he studied the real Islam and Koran, all the ideas he gets from terrorists would change, because terrorism is a different religion,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, Clinton offered her own criticism of Trump’s remarks during a church service in Cleveland.

“Mr. Khan paid the ultimate sacrifice in his family, didn’t he?” she said. “And what has he heard from Donald Trump? Nothing but insults and degrading comments about Muslims — a total misunderstanding of what made our country great, religious freedom, religious liberty. It’s enshrined in our Constitution, as Mr. Khan knows, because he’s actually read it.”


The first statements from GOP leaders offering criticism of Trump’s remarks came by mid-afternoon, as the Trump-Khan fight made headlines around the country.

“I agree with the Khans and families across the country that a travel ban on all members of a religion is simply contrary to American values,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement that didn’t mention Trump’s name.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans are avoiding gun talks as election looms The Hill's 12:30 Report Flake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan MORE (R-Wis.) also didn’t mention Trump in a statement lauding Capt. Khan’s sacrifice and condemning a religious test for entering the country.

5:00 p.m.

Democrats, sensing a political gift, sought to tie congressional Republicans to Trump on the issue.

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWATCH: There is no Trump-Russia collusion and the media should stop pushing this The demise of debate in Congress ‘North by Northwest,’ the Carter Page remake MORE (D-Nev.) called Ryan and McConnell “spineless” for refusing to revoke their endorsements of Trump.

“It took less than two days for Senator McConnell to call for then-Rep. Todd Akin to end his Senate campaign citing Akin’s ‘deeply offensive error at a time when his candidacy carries great consequence for the future of our country,’” Reid said, referring to a Missouri Senate candidate whose comments in 2012 on rape and abortion were widely condemned.  

“Donald Trump’s candidacy carries even greater consequence, yet Senator McConnell remains silent,” he said.

Vice presidential candidate Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceNorth Korea canceled secret meeting with Pence at Olympics Judicial order in Flynn case prompts new round of scrutiny The CIA may need to call White House to clarify Russia meddling MORE released a statement arguing that Trump’s policies — including “suspending immigration from countries compromised by terrorism” — will “reduce the likelihood that other American families will face the enduring heartbreak of the Khan family.”

10:40 p.m.

Several former Trump advisers and confidants, including strategist Roger Stone and New Hampshire state lawmaker Al Baldasaro, began offering support for Trump.

They did so in part by promoting an article from, a fringe blog run by a purported former extremist, which claimed that Khizr Khan is “a Muslim Brotherhood agent who wants to advance Sharia law and bring Muslims into the United States.”

“Mr. Khan more than an aggrieved father of a Muslim son- he's Muslim Brotherhood agent helping Hillary,” Stone tweeted that night, linking to the piece. Baldasaro linked to the same article Monday morning.

No evidence for that charge has been offered, and critics have repudiated the site and Stone and Baldasaro for engaging in conspiracy theories.

Meanwhile, the 52-page pocket version of the Constitution hit the No. 2 spot on’s best seller’s list — topped only by the new Harry Potter script, released Sunday.

Monday, August 1

7:10 a.m.

Trump kept up his attacks on Khan, accusing the Marine’s father of “viciously attacking” him from the stage in Philadelphia.

“Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same - Nice!” he tweeted.

7:30 a.m.

Trump tweeted that the media was getting the story wrong by focusing on Khan.

“This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!” he tweeted.

8:30 a.m.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (R-Ariz.), who was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, issued a 697-word statement saying that Trump does not speak for the Republican Party — leading some to speculate that he could be laying the groundwork for withdrawing his endorsement.

At around the same time, the Khans continued a media tour that had them appear on several morning news shows.


CNN reports that Jeb Bush's top adviser, Sally Bradshaw, announced she is leaving the Republican party, in part in response to Trump’s “despicable” comments about the Khan family.