NYT Thinks It's Found Man Who Helped Trump Avoid Vietnam

But Queens podiatrist Dr. Larry Braunstein died in 2007
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2018 6:33 AM CST
President Trump pauses while speaking with members of the five branches of the military by video conference on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, in the Oval Office of the White House. The military...   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Much has been made of the bone spurs that allowed Donald Trump to secure a medical exemption from serving in the Vietnam War. If you're looking for the story behind that 1968 diagnosis, the New York Times thinks it finally maybe has it. The paper reports that Trump has maintained that he couldn't recall who signed off on the paperwork, but that it believes podiatrist Dr. Larry Braunstein was the man behind the diagnosis. The Times arrived at that name after some digging: An anonymous tipster suggested an unnamed podiatrist with a connection to Trump's father, Fred Trump, had been involved, and the paper turned to old city directories and began interviewing podiatrists to come up with Braunstein's name.

Braunstein died in 2007, but his daughters, now in their 50s, say their father had regaled friends and family with the story of assisting Trump as a "favor" to his father. The elder Trump rented Braunstein his Jamaica, Queens, office space. "I know it was a favor," Dr. Elysa Braunstein says. "Did he examine him, I don't know." She also doesn't know whether Trump really had bone spurs in his heels, though as the Times puts it, "the implication from her father was that Mr. Trump did not." The Times found no documentation to back up the sisters' story—neither from them nor the doctor who bought their father's practice. Read the full story, which floats the name of a second podiatrist who the sisters believe may also have played a part in the diagnosis, here. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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