Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Democratic 2020 candidate and Afghanistan war veteran, slammed President Donald Trump on Friday for “faking” an injury to avoid the Vietnam war draft. “Mayor Pete,” as he has become known, allowed no room for ambiguity in his judgement of Trump’s actions, stating he held a “dim view” of the president’s decision to dodge service on account of bone spurs in his feet. “I mean, if he were a conscientious objector, I’d admire that, but this is somebody who I think it is fairly obvious to most of us took advantage of the fact that he was a child of a multi-millionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so somebody could go to war in his place.”

Trump’s military record, or lack thereof, was scrutinized from the earliest days of his 2016 campaign. It surfaced in 2015, in the midst of a war of words with the late Arizona senator and Vietnam veteran John McCain, whom Trump criticized for being held as a POW, saying, “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” Trump refused to apologize for those remarks.

A New York Times article from 2018 alleged that a Queens podiatrist, Dr. Larry Braunstein, diagnosed the future president in 1968 as a favor to his father, Fred Trump, who owned Dr. Braunstein’s building. “If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call, and Trump would take care of it immediately,” said Elysa Braunstein, the daughter of the late doctor who wrote Donald a note claiming he suffered from “bone spurs,” a relatively common condition that affects roughly 38% of the population and is characterized by small bumps along the bones’ edges. Donald himself has claimed it was a “minor” medical issue.

Buttigieg himself served as a naval intelligence officer in 2009, while Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy was still in effect, and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014 during his term as mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg’s career success at a young age and military record have helped rocket him to popularity amidst the flood of democratic candidates in the 2020 arena.

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