Iowa’s Governor Calls Trump’s Criticism of Gold Star Family ‘A Mistake’; Grassley Also Criticizes

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa's two, long-serving Republican leaders criticized their party's presidential nominee Donald Trump Monday for his controversial comments about the Muslim-American family whose son died in the Iraq War in 2004.

Over the past several days, Trump's comments have ignited a tweet-storm of concerns for some in his own party.

Khizr Khan, whose son died fighting for the United States, ripped Trump during the Democratic National Convention last week. He said Trump "sacrificed nothing," while his family lost a son. Trump has also previously called for a temporary ban of Muslims who want to come into the U.S.

Trump has responded on social media and television interviews with criticism of Khan.

Governor Terry Branstad said of Trump's comments, "I think that was a mistake. I believe the focus needs to be on the differences he has with Hillary Clinton."

Branstad's criticism was hardly scathing. But it was different from earlier Trump controversies, where the governor had typically declined to criticize Trump's words.

A side note: Branstad's son, Eric, is Trump's Iowa State Director.

Late Monday afternoon, Senator Chuck Grassley's office sent out a statement about Trump's remarks:

“We ought to honor anybody who fought to maintain our freedoms, no matter what race, religion or background.  We owe them and their families the utmost respect.  I’m proud to be friends with a family of Muslim faith from Cedar Falls whose son served as an officer in our armed forces.  He was proud to serve, and I am proud to know him.  Mr. Trump’s comments are not in line with my own beliefs about how the members of the military and their families should be treated, and respect for the people who serve our country is something both presidential campaigns could use more of."