Trump Puts Sen. Blumenthal On Blast With Stolen Valor Reference

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

President Donald Trump took aim at Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Saturday, referencing Blumenthal’s false claims that he served in Vietnam.

“Watched Da Nang Dick Blumenthal on television spewing facts almost as accurate as his bravery in Vietnam (which he never saw),” the president tweeted. “As the bullets whizzed by Da Nang Dicks [sic] head, as he was saving soldiers….”

Trump followed that with one additional tweet, saying, “….left and right, he then woke up from his dream screaming that HE LIED. Next time I go to Vietnam I will ask ‘the Dick’ to travel with me!” (RELATED: Trump: ‘Fraudster’ Blumenthal Was ‘Horrible’ To Kavanaugh)

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Blumenthal did serve in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve during Vietnam, but his service never took him out of the country. In 2008, however, he was caught on video suggesting otherwise. Speaking to veterans in Norwalk, Blumenthal said, “We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam. And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

Several outlets went on to erroneously report that Blumenthal had served in combat — and he did not correct them until the New York Times published an expose in 2010 titled “Richard Blumenthal’s Words On Vietnam Service Differ From History.”

From the report:

He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

The deferments allowed Mr. Blumenthal to complete his studies at Harvard; pursue a graduate fellowship in England; serve as a special assistant to The Washington Post’s publisher, Katharine Graham; and ultimately take a job in the Nixon White House.

In 1970, with his last deferment in jeopardy, he landed a coveted spot in the Marine Reserve, which virtually guaranteed that he would not be sent to Vietnam. He joined a unit in Washington that conducted drills and other exercises and focused on local projects, like fixing a campground and organizing a Toys for Tots drive.

After the report was published, Blumenthal responded with the following apology:

On a few occasions, I have misspoken about my service, and I regret that,” he said. “But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to my country. I served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, and I am proud of it.”

Blumenthal’s past relationship with the truth in this regard was brought to the forefront when he challenged the honesty and integrity of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during hearings about sexual misconduct allegations against him.

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