By mocking John McCain's military record, Donald Trump has put his own record of draft deferments in the spotlight, and he's being pretty evasive about the last of his five Vietnam-era deferments, Politico reports. The campaign describes the 1968 medical deferment, which Trump says was for bone spurs in his heels, as "minor" and "short-term," but it appears to have kept him out of the war during the crucial 18 months before he drew a high draft number in December 1969, reports Politico, which notes that the biggest question is whether Trump got the deferment by bringing a letter from his family doctor citing the bone spur problem.
Plenty of people of military age poorer than Trump with "no doctor but health issues bigger than bone spurs" were drafted, Politico notes. The Trump campaign, asked whether there was a doctor's letter, responded only with a general campaign statement that notes Trump's role in creating the "Vietnam War Memorial in lower Manhattan, for which he contributed a tremendous sum of money." Trump has been condemned by nearly all his GOP rivals, but in a USA Today op-ed, he sidesteps the Vietnam issue and continues to attack McCain, accusing him of abandoning veterans and saying he has "failed the state of Arizona and the country." He also blasts his GOP rivals as "failed politicians or people who would be unable to succeed in the private sector."