Donald Trump claimed on Monday that he would have run, unarmed, into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to stop a school shooter. And while his boasts of extraordinary bravery may resonate with some observers, in the face of real (or imagined) danger, Trump has been known to act less than courageous.
The Dangers Of Vietnam
While other men his age were being shipped off to Vietnam, according to Snopes, Donald Trump was busy collecting deferments to keep him out of the military. Scouring publicly-available records, the site learned that after registering for the Selective Service, Trump went on to collect a total of five deferments: four 2-S (college) deferments and a 4-F (not qualified for military service) deferment for “bone spurs.”
In fact, so funny has the subject of Trump’s draft deferments been that one Senator, Tammy Duckworth, who actually saw combat and was severely injured in war, took to calling the president “Cadet Bone Spurs.”
The Dangers Of An Over-Enthusiastic Crowd-Goer
As the Washington Post reports, back in March, 2016, Trump was speaking at a campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio, when someone from the crowd rushed the stage. The then-candidate grabbed his podium and ducked behind it, while Secret Service officers saved the day.
Trump, true to form, then boasted that he would have handled the matter himself, but it’s “much easier if the cops do it.”
“I was ready for him.”
The Dangers Of An Unarmed Bird
Back in 2015, long before he’d announced his candidacy for president, Trump was attacked by a dangerous predator. And here “dangerous predator” means “27-year-old bald eagle brought in for a photo shoot.”
Like all animals, the bird, named Uncle Sam, got rather excited at something and began flapping its wings and making a ruckus. The courageous Trump, who would have run unarmed into a school with an active shooter, shirked away from the deadly beast.
Trump when an eagle flapped its wings: pic.twitter.com/3uEDcycyaP
— William LeGate (@williamlegate) February 26, 2018
Trump then told the crew that the shoot was over.
“We’re not doing it again; don’t worry. What you will do for a cover. This bird is seriously dangerous but beautiful.”
The Dangers Of Rain
Back in January, as rain fell on Washington, D.C., Donald Trump bravely held an umbrella over his own head while his wife and adolescent son fended for themselves, as the Independent reported at the time.
He’ll take a bullet for your kids. But not rain for his. https://t.co/CjoDezn0gd
— Blair Shedd (@onegemini) February 26, 2018
The Dangers Of Germs
Trump has long been candid about the fact that he’s a germaphobe, telling various interviewers on various occasions that when blood and germs enter the mix, he’s done. Back in 2008, he told radio shock-jock Howard Stern about the time an elderly man fell ill at Mar-a-Lago. The 80-year-old man fell off the stage and began bleeding, at which point Trump was more concerned about the damage to the floor than he was about the old man.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s disgusting,’ and I turned away. I didn’t want to touch him… he’s bleeding all over the place, I felt terrible. You know, beautiful marble floor, didn’t look like it. It changed color. Became very red.”
The Dangers Of Actual War Zones
As USA Today writer Gregg Zoroya noted in January, presidents often visit active war zones during their presidencies, particularly in their first year. As of this writing, Donald Trump has not visited a combat zone. The closest he came was sending Vice President Mike Pence to Afghanistan in 2017.
The takeaway is clear: Donald Trump may talk a big game about his supposed bravery, but the actual facts paint a different picture of the 45th president.