By MARK BRUNSWICK

Star Tribune staff writer

GOP U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen is facing new criticism from Democrats in Washington after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s controversial comments about the family of a soldier killed in Iraq.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee lambasted Paulsen, who is in a fierce battle for re-election, for not speaking up after Trump’s criticism of the parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, a Purple Heart recipient. The VFW and other veterans groups have resoundingly condemned Trump’s criticism of Khan's parents, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention last week.

"Erik agrees with the VFW — Trump’s comments about the Khan family are out of bounds. All our men and women in uniform – and their families - deserve both our respect and thanks. Especially those who make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms,” said John-Paul Yates, Paulsen’s spokesman.

Paulsen and his staff have said he expects to support Trump in the election, but that so far the real estate mogul has not earned his backing.

Paulsen is being challenged by Democratic state Sen. Terri Bonoff in the Third Congressional District, which includes western and northern Minneapolis suburbs.

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