Trump 'faked disability to avoid serving in Vietnam', Pete Buttigieg says

Buttigieg, an army veteran, says Trump used his privileged status to get a medical exemption

Stephanie Fillion
New York
Friday 24 May 2019 14:11 BST
Pete Buttigieg poses backstage before an appearance at the 92nd Street Y on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in New York
Pete Buttigieg poses backstage before an appearance at the 92nd Street Y on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in New York (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg accuses Donald Trump of faking a disability to avoid being drafted in Vietnam.

The former naval intelligence officer said the president’s conduct “resulted in someone else going to war in his place,” during a Washington Post event on Thursday.

Donald Trump received five deferments from the draft, four for university and one for medical reasons - a diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels. Buttigieg said: “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.”

Allegations that Trump has dodged the draft date back to his 2016 campaign.

In January 2018, Senator Amy Duckworth (Democrat-Illinois), called Trump a “five-deferment draft dodger.” Last February, Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney told Congress the president told him he had no medical excuse to avoid military draft.

Last December, a New York Times investigation revealed Trump's medical exemption was diagnosed by a podiatrist who also rented a space from his father, Fred Trump.

A member of the podiatrist family told the Times he did it as a favour to Trump's family. Buttigieg argues Trump used his privileged upbringing to avoid being drafted in Vietnam.

The 37-year-old took a seven-month leave of absence from his job as mayor of South Bend, a city of about 100,000 in the state of Indiana, in 2014 to serve in Afghanistan.

added during the event: “I mean, if he were a conscientious objector, I’d admire that, but this is somebody who, I think it is 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."

Buttigieg officially launched his campaign on April 14, and the polyglot, millennial and openly gay mayor from Indiana intends to make climate change, gun control and income inequalities his main campaign battles.

He is among the five leading candidates to win the leadership race of the Democrats.

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