In an interview with Piers Morgan, President Donald Trump said that he “would’ve been honored” to serve in the Vietnam War. The president managed to avoid the conflict by claiming that he had bone spurs, giving him a medical deferment.

“Well, I was never a fan of that war, I’ll be honest with you,” Trump said. “I thought it was a terrible war. I thought it was very far away … and at that time nobody ever heard of the country. Today they’re doing very well.”

Speaking with the British broadcaster before attending commencement ceremonies for the 75th anniversary of the WWII D-Day invasion, Trump said, “I would not have minded that at all. I would’ve been honored, but I think I make up for it right now.” The president then went on to laud the increase in military spending that occurred during his administration, implying that he was now doing his duty for his country, even if he had shied away from serving in the 60s.



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Trump campaigned on the promise to remove the United States from the various complicated military entanglements that it has been involved in, especially in the Middle East. He has had mixed success in Afghanistan, with an original increase in violence followed by the current high-level talks with the Taliban, but many view his advisors as attempting to involve the United States in another foreign war, such as in North Korea or Venezuela.

Trump’s deferment from the war has often been a source of ridicule and mockery for his opponents, many of whom have served in the military. One critic whose feud with the president emphasized Trump’s draft dodging was the late Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) who served in Vietnam and was taken prisoner there. Trump’s repeated attacks on McCain’s military record resulted in heavy backlash, with many criticizing the president for not serving in the war at all. More recently, some Democratic 2020 candidates have been dredging up the president’s deferment as another way to vilify him while also boosting themselves up. One such candidate is Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, an Afghanistan war veteran who bashed Trump’s decision to “use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam.”

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