The daughters of a Queens podiatrist told The New York Times that their late father diagnosed Donald Trump with bone spurs to help him avoid the Vietnam War draft as a “favor” to Trump’s father, who owned the building where his office was located.
The daughters of Dr. Larry Braunstein, who died in 2007, told The Times that their father frequently told the story of how he helped the younger Trump avoid the draft as a favor to his father, Fred Trump.
“I know it was a favor,” Dr. Elysa Braunstein told The Times, implying that Trump did not actually have bone spurs in his foot. “But did he examine him? I don’t know.”
The elder Braunstein worked out of an office in Jamaica, Queens, in a building which was owned by Fred Trump and later his children until it was sold in 2004.
“What he got was access to Fred Trump,” Elysa Braunstein told The Times. “If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and Trump would take care of it immediately. That was the small favor that he got.”
“It was family lore,” she added. “It was something we would always discuss.”
“Mr. Trump had been declared available for service two years earlier and undergone a physical exam, Selective Service records show,” The Times reported. “That exam did not result in a medical exemption, but he did receive an education deferment. When officials again declared him available for service in July 1968, he had exhausted four education deferments and finished school, so it was the medical exemption that kept him from being eligible.”
Trump has claimed it was “ultimately” a high draft lottery number that spared him from going to war, but Trump had received a medical exemption more than a year before the lottery began.
Trump lashes out at veterans despite own history:
“Mr. Trump has had a complicated relationship with the military, having quarreled with the likes of Senator John McCain, a prisoner of war during Vietnam; the parents of a slain soldier; and the architect of the Osama bin Laden raid, even while speaking during campaign rallies about his enthusiastic support for veterans and the armed forces,” The Times reported. “He has also been critical of people who have been less than forthright about their Vietnam records. Earlier this month, he chided Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, over misleading statements he made years ago about his own Vietnam record, calling him ‘Da Nang Dick’ on Twitter.”
Trump skips visit to troops:
NBC News reported that Trump became the first president since 2002 to not visit military members during Christmastime.
“Based on a check of NBC logs, President Barack Obama visited troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in Kaneohe Bay, every Christmas he was in office, from 2009 to 2016,” NBC reported. “Before him, according to a check of news releases, President George W. Bush visited wounded warriors at Walter Reed from 2003 to 2008. He did not visit troops at Christmas in 2002, in the run-up to the Iraq War, or in 2001.”
He has not visited any troops in combat since taking office.