Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg accused President Donald Trump on Thursday of “exploiting the system” by fabricating a disability to bypass the draft and thereby avoid military service.
“I have a pretty dim view of [Trump’s] decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam,” Buttigieg replied during an interview for “Washington Post Live.”
When pressed harder on whether he believes Trump actually faked a disability, the South Bend mayor fired back “do you believe he has a disability?”
“Yeah …,” he continued. “I don’t mean to trivialize disability but I think that’s exactly what he did.” (RELATED: Pete Buttigieg: ‘I Could Take 30,000 More’ Immigrants Into South Bend)
Trump was diagnosed with bone spurs in 1968, which allowed him to receive a medical exemption for the Vietnam War draft, reported The New York Times. He had received four prior education deferments while he was studying at University of Pennsylvania.
“Manipulating the ability to get a diagnosis — I mean, if he were a conscientious objector, I’d admire that,” Buttigieg said. “But this is somebody who it’s fairly obvious to most of us took advantage of that fact that he was the child of a multimillionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place.”
“I know that that drudges up old wounds from a complicated time during a complicated war,” he added. “I’m also old enough to remember when Conservatives talked about character.”
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