Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, who was severely injured while serving in Iraq, said that President Donald Trump “dodged the draft five times using his personal privilege,” Yahoo News reports.
Speaking to human rights activist Zainab Salbi’s “Through Her Eyes” show, Duckworth, long one of Trump’s harshest critics in the Senate, didn’t mince words when it comes to Trump’s draft record.
Back in the 1960s, when thousands of young men were being drafted into the military to serve in the Vietnam War, Donald Trump was of the age when he could very well have been one of those men. However, as Business Insider reports, Trump was able to get five deferments — four because he was a college student, and a fifth one because of bone spurs. Writer Mariana Alfaro says that it was not uncommon for young men from “influential families” to secure draft deferments at the time.
Duckworth is having none of that. The senator, who has mockingly referred to Trump as “Cadet Bone Spurs,” again accused Trump of using his family’s wealth and clout to get out of serving in Vietnam.
“It’s baloney. He dodged the draft five times using his personal privilege to get out of serving. He came up with a bogus diagnosis of a bone spur, which he can’t even tell you what foot it was in. If it was that bad, you would remember, right?” Duckworth said.
Duckworth didn’t limit her criticism of Trump’s relationship with the military to his activities during the Vietnam War era. She also criticized Trump for the way his administration, and he specifically, has not done right by the military.
For example, she accused Trump of cutting money for military readiness — she called it “stealing” from the military — by using Pentagon funds to construct portions of his border wall. Similarly, she criticized Trump for sending troops to the U.S.-Mexico border — “thousands of miles from where these migrants are,” she said — and of threatening to deport veterans who have green cards.
Meanwhile, she is also accusing Trump of laying the groundwork for another war, this time with Iran.
“He likes the idea of war. He likes to thump his chest — as long as it’s someone else’s children that are serving and not his own,” she said.
Duckworth served in the Iraq War in the early 2000s, and her helicopter was shot down in 2004, as HuffPost reports. She lost both of her legs and some mobility in her right arm. Despite her injuries, however, she obtained a waiver that allowed her to continue to serve in the Illinois National Guard.