Published: Mon, October 23, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

John McCain makes apparent jab at Trump during interview about Vietnam War

John McCain makes apparent jab at Trump during interview about Vietnam War

The 81-year-old from Arizona spoke about how wealthy Americans were able to avoid being drafted into service during the battle - in which he spent five years as a prisoner of war - by having a doctor say they had a bone spur.

The Vietnam War has been invoked before in a long-simmering battle between Trump and McCain.

Republican Senator John McCain, whose status of a war hero was called into question by Donald Trump during the latter's presidential campaign, has responded to the American president in a very personal way, mocking Trump's draft deferments during the Vietnam War. "That is wrong. That is wrong".

President Donald Trump reportedly received five military draft deferments, including one involving a doctor saying he had bone spurs.

"This is wrong. If we are going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve", the Vietnam war hero said.

During the Vietnam War, Trump had obtained four educational deferments before graduating from college. But an armed forces physical examination in 1968 deemed him medically unfit.

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Specifically, he said: 'I like people who weren't captured'. He once even went so far as to downplay his military service.

"I had a doctor that gave me a letter - a very strong letter on the heels", Trump told the New York Times in 2016, adding that the condition eventually "healed up".

In a 2015 biography, Trump told Michael D'Antonio that the bone spurs were "not a big problem, but it was enough of a problem". His campaign continued to be cagey about providing documentation.

The Arizona Senator has ramped up criticism of Trump in recent weeks, including during a speech at the National Constitution Center last week, in which he warned the USA against embracing "half-baked, spurious nationalism".

McCain has proved a thorn in Trump's side in recent months, twice helping to scupper Republican attempts to repeal a healthcare law that was a signature accomplishment of former president Barack Obama. Trump has recently targeted McCain for torpedoing the GOP's efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, among other things. McCain just changed that at a very conspicuous time.

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