War veteran Pete Buttigieg took aim at Donald Trump during a panel with The Washington Post, accusing him of using “his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam.”
The Democratic presidential hopeful, who left his job as mayor of South Bend, Indiana to serve in Afghanistan for seven months, clearly feels strongly about the fact that President Trump never went into active duty after he earned five deferments from the draft. One of them included a medical exemption for “bone spurs,” and The New York Times reported last year that the doctor had diagnosed him with that as a favor to his wealthy father.
“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 multimillionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place,” Buttigieg said at the event on Thursday, as per The Guardian.
“I don’t have a problem standing up to somebody who was working on Season 7 of Celebrity Apprentice when I was packing my bags for Afghanistan,” he added.
Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was asked by the House Oversight Committee this February if the President had purposefully avoided going to war by faking a disability.
According to NBC News, Cohen claimed Trump told him “there was no surgery,” adding, “You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.”
I was on the senior staff of campaigns by Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp and Bob Dole.
Admired Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s intelligence and raw political skill.
— John Buckley (@johnbuckley100) May 23, 2019
During his Washington Post talk, Buttigieg also slammed Trump for allegedly considering pardons for people accused or convicted of war crimes, a move he dubbed “disgusting.” The presidential candidate said that the President should not be able to overrule a decision made by a jury consisting of military officers, as it was a direct affront to the notions of discipline, good order and the rule of law, all of which U.S. servicemen uphold when they defend the country on the frontlines of war.
.@PeteButtigieg says when he saw NFL players protest police brutality by kneeling during the National Anthem, he saw Americans using a right that he fought to defend. https://t.co/lS3IVwntZf #buttigiegpostlive pic.twitter.com/UALsWvCOks
— Washington Post Live (@postlive) May 23, 2019
Back in 2014, the 37-year-old served as a reserve Navy intelligence officer in the Middle Eastern country for a few months. If he were to win the presidency, he would become the youngest ever president in United States history. Buttigieg was relatively unknown until not long ago, when he rose to stardom for being an openly gay elected politician who still managed to appeal to more conservative voters in the Midwest.