Donald Trump received five deferments to avoid having to fight in the Vietnam War, but this week labeled a sheriff’s deputy a “coward” for not rushing into a school and confronting a gunman armed with an AR-15.
The irony of that is apparently not lost in the internet.
On Friday, Trump spoke out about the school shooting in Florida that claimed the lives of 17 people last week. Speaking to reporters before heading to the annual CPAC conference, Trump said that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson was either a “coward” or froze under pressure when he failed to enter Stoneman Douglas High School as the shooting was taking place. Peterson has been blamed for his inaction and resigned his position on Thursday.
“When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage or something happened. But he certainly did a poor job. There’s no question about that,” Trump said, via USA Today. “That’s a case where somebody was outside, they’re trained, they didn’t act properly or under pressure or they were a coward. It was a real shock to the police department.”
But Donald Trump has also come under fire since his criticism of the sheriff’s deputy, with many pointing out that Trump himself took great lengths to avoid combat in Vietnam during his youth. Trump received five deferments including one after a doctor claimed Trump had a bone spur in his foot.
Critics noted that Trump is not one to lecture others on bravery.
Trump knocks sheriff's deputy who stayed outside Florida school shooting as a 'coward' https://t.co/QvUsQPKkeP
— TIME (@TIME) February 23, 2018
Donald Trump has come under fire for his deferments in the past, with critics labeling him a “draft dodger” and political opponents making fun of his excuse of suffering bone spurs. Senator John McCain, who spent years enduring torture in a North Vietnamese prison after being shot down, took a shot at Trump in an interview last year where he lamented how most of those fighting were from low-income backgrounds.
The president who did NOT run toward the sound of the guns in Vietnam 50 years ago, now labels an officer with a handgun a "coward" for not running toward the sound of an AR15.
Trump is by far the most cowardly president in history.
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) February 23, 2018
“One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest-income level of America, and the highest-income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur,” McCain said, as reported by the BBC.
Others have taken aim at Donald Trump for his draft deferments, including Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth, who, like McCain, was seriously injured in war. Duckworth lost her legs after being shot down in Iraq, and has often called out Trump for lecturing others about failing to support the U.S. military. Duckworth has even taken to calling Trump “Cadet Bone Spurs” for his Vietnam deferment excuses.