President Donald Trump claims that he would have been honored to serve in the military during the Vietnam War, but despite not serving, he feels that he is making up for it now by “rebuilding our military.”
As he prepared to attend ceremonies commemorating the 75th anniversary of the World War II D-Day invasion, Trump was speaking with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain about a range of topics, and he was asked to address his lack of military service in the Vietnam war, according to CBS News.
“I would not have minded that at all. I would’ve been honored, but I think I make up for it right now,” he said. “I think I’m making up for it rapidly because we’re rebuilding our military at a level that it’s never seen before.”
Trump went on to cite the increase in defense spending under his administration as evidence of his military commitment. He said that he allocated $700 billion to the military last year and $716 billion to the military this year.
He also expanded on his opinion about the Vietnam War while speaking with Morgan.
“Well, I was never a fan of that war, I’ll be honest with you. 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,” he said.
He added that he felt it wasn’t a worthy war as when the allies fought against Nazi Germany and said that it wasn’t something the United States should have been involved in.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 5, 2019
The president has famously been criticized for his lack of service after receiving five medical deferments from the draft by claiming to have bone spurs in the heels of both of his feet, which prevented him from serving. He also received deferments for education.
Trump never sought treatment for the condition and was able to work in his father’s business after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania.
Presidential hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg has said that Trump used his status as the son of a wealthy man to claim a disability in order to get out of serving.
When Trump faced criticism during the 2016 campaign for his failure to serve, his campaign released a statement saying that the matter was irrelevant because Trump’s draft number never came up. The campaign also claimed that had his number been called, Trump would have “proudly served.”