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Dem Candidate Pete Buttigieg On Trump’s Vietnam Deferment: He Used ‘His Privileged Status To Fake A Disability’

On Thursday, during a Washington Post Live interview with Robert Costa, South Bend, Indiana, mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg took multiple opportunities to criticize President Trump.

At one point, Costa asked Buttigieg about the president having not served in Vietnam.

COSTA: Do you think he should have served in Vietnam?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, I have a pretty dim view of his decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam.

COSTA: You believe he faked a disability? Do you believe he has a disability?

BUTTIGIEG: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, at least not that one. No, I don't mean – this is actually really important because I don't mean to trivialize disability, but I think that's exactly what he did. When you think about the way somebody can exploit the system and needless to say the way he has treated and mocked disabled people is just one more example of the many affronts to just basic decency that this president has inflicted on this country, but manipulating the ability to get a diagnosis. I mean, if he were a conscientious objector, I'd admire that.

But this is somebody who, I think it's fairly obvious to most of us, took advantage of the fact that he was a child of a multimillionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place. And I know that that drudges up old wounds from a complicated time during a complicated war, but I'm also old enough to remember when conservatives talked about character as something that mattered in the presidency. And so I think it deserves to be talked about.

During the Vietnam War, Donald Trump received five draft deferments. Although the first four were related to his education, the fifth was medical, a 1-Y deferment allegedly due to a diagnosis of "bone spurs" in his heels. Trump’s Selective Service Records show that the 1-Y was shifted to a 4-F in February of 1972.

Bone spurs "are bony projections that develop along bone edges." Also known as osteophytes, they "often form where bones meet each other," according to the Mayo Clinic.

In December, The New York Times published an article in which the daughters of Larry Braunstein, the podiatrist who allegedly diagnosed Donald Trump with bone spurs, claimed that their father may have provided the president with the diagnosis as "a favor" to his father, Fred Trump.

Also in December, Michael D’Antonio, author of "Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success," wrote about an exchange he had with Trump regarding his medical deferment in which the president took off his shoe and revealed his foot. According to D’Antonio, there were no visible abnormalities:

As he explained his condition, the man who would become president took off his shoes and pointed at his right heel. He asked me to take a look for bumps, which I didn't actually see, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt because that's what a polite person does.

However, in the book, D’Antonio wrote:

Trump slipped off his black loafer and pointed to his heel, where a little bulge pushed against his sock. "Heel spurs," he explained. "On both feet."

In February, the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, stated the following during testimony before the House Oversight Committee:

Mr. Trump tasked me to handle the negative press surrounding his medical deferment from the Vietnam draft. Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery. He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment. He finished the conversation with the following comment. "You think I’m stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam."

Cohen is currently serving a "three-year sentence for crimes including tax evasion and campaign finance violations related to hush-money payments made to protect his former boss," reports the Associated Press.

The Daily Wire reached out to the White House for comment regarding Buttigieg’s remarks, but as of publication, we have not received a reply.

 
 
 

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