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Trump ‘pretended to be disabled’ to avoid military service, says Buttigieg

The Indiana mayor contrasts his own service in Afghanistan with the president’s bone spurs ‘excuse’

Phil Thomas
New York
Wednesday 31 July 2019 08:48 BST
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Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg taunted Donald Trump over his military deferments during the Vietnam War, saying the president had “pretended to be disabled”.

The president was excused service because of bone spurs in his foot, although it has been claimed this was an excuse to avoid being sent to Vietnam.

In the first of the Democratic Party debates in Detroit, Mr Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, sought to contrast his own service in Afghanistan with Mr Trump’s failure to serve.

He said: “Nominate me, and you get to see the president of the United States stand next to an American war veteran and explain why he chose to pretend to be disabled when it was his chance to serve.”

During his state visit to the UK in June, Mr Trump told the broadcaster Piers Morgan that he would have been “honoured” to have served, but said he was “never a fan” of the Vietnam War, saying it was happening far away in a country “nobody had ever heard of”.

He added: “But I think I make up for it right now . . . because we’re rebuilding our military at a level that it’s never seen before.”

Mr Trump has also suggested that he would have been a great general had he gone into the military.

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