Trump, who dodged the draft, attacked Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a man who served in the Marine Corps Reserves.
Trump dodged the Vietnam War draft with a fake claim of bone spurs, telling longtime attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen that there was never any surgery related to his claimed ailment. Cohen made these claims in his prepared remarks, released before his Wednesday testimony before the House Oversight Committee.
Trump handled the accusations with his typical misdirection and lashing out, this time focusing his misguided rage at Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
In an unhinged tweet, Trump spouted, "I have now spent more time in Vietnam than Da Nang Dick Blumenthal, the third rate Senator from Connecticut (how is Connecticut doing?). His war stories of his heroism in Vietnam were a total fraud — he was never even there. We talked about it today with Vietnamese leaders!"
But Trump's attempt at redirecting the conversation does not change the fact that he received five deferments to keep him from entering the draft, including one for a claim of bone spurs. But Cohen says Trump never provided any proof. During the 2016 campaign, "Mr. Trump tasked me to handle the negative press surrounding his medical deferment from the Vietnam draft," Cohen says in his prepared remarks.
"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."
But Trump wasn't done. "He finished the conversation with the following comment. 'You think I'm stupid, I wasn't going to Vietnam,'" Cohen says.
Trump has a long history of attacking veterans, including those who served in Vietnam. During the campaign, Trump disparaged Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who was captured and spent years being tortured in a Vietnamese prison. "He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured," Trump said in July 2015.
McCain passed away last year, but that has not stopped Trump from attacking veterans. With his attack on Blumenthal, Trump is referring to a decades-old issue for which Blumenthal has repeatedly apologized. When running for Senate in 2010, Blumenthal misstated his service during the Vietnam War, where he served stateside in the Marine Corps Reserve, but never went to Vietnam.
Trump is finally in Vietnam, and is using his high-profile visit to mock a veteran. But Trump's angry tweets only remind everyone of his draft-dodging past and his lifetime of disrespecting those who served.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.