TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie called Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's criticism of the parents of an American soldier killed in Iraq "inappropriate."

Trump has been engaged in an emotionally charged feud with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son, Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed by a suicide bomber in 2004.

Christie, Trump's White House transition chairman, called the pain of losing a child unfathomable and said that whether the Khans are right or wrong, he would avoid criticizing them.

"The Khans have a right to say whatever it is they want regarding the loss of their son and for all the Gold Star families out there they have put forward a sacrifice that I cannot fathom as a parent," Christie said. "It's just inappropriate for us in this context to be criticizing them, and I'm not going to participate."

Khizr Khan gave an emotional tribute to his son last week at the Democratic National Convention that was also heavily critical of Trump.

Trump responded saying Khan did not have a right to question whether he had read the Constitution.

Christie's comments, which came during a statehouse news conference, were his first publicly on the issue, which has dominated headlines recently.

Christie also responded to comments by President Barack Obama earlier Tuesday that Trump isn't qualified to be president. The governor said that it's the president who has disqualified himself from giving comments like that because he said last week that Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person in American history to be president.

Christie said that while he believes Clinton is not qualified to be president, he doesn't believe she is "the devil," as Trump labeled his opponent this week.

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