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Politics and Government

AUDIO: Lankford Addresses Trump's Repeated Comments On Khan Family

Sen. James Lankford R-Okla. arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015
J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. James Lankford R-Okla. arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015

Oklahoma's junior U.S. Senator is joining bipartisan criticism of Republican presidential nominee Doanld Trump's comments directed toward the family U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Khan’s parents spoke out against Trump at last week’s Democratic National Convention, prompting several days of response from the GOP nominee. U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told Public Radio Tulsa when the New York businessman thinks something, he says it.

“This Gold Star family, I don’t care what their faith background is or what their perspective is, they are to be honored and thanked for their service and for their incredible sacrifice,” Lankford said.

Lankford says he’s attended many military funerals and spent time with the families of fallen servicemen and women. The former Director of Student Ministry for the Baptist Convention of Oklahoma and the director of the Falls Creek church camp said the Khans deserve the same treatment as any family.

“When you start to deal with, ‘Is it a Muslim family, so can they be honored by that?’ Of course they can,” Lankford said. “We have always been a nation that honors every faith, or people of no faith. That’s part of our constitutional protection.”

Lankford has not formally endorsed Trump. A spokesman told NBC News in March that Lankford will support the Republican nominee in an effort to defeat Hillary Clinton this fall, but clarified that support does not count as an endorsement.

The Senator says he's focused on keeping a Republican majority in the chamber.

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