President Donald Trump on Friday morning tweeted in celebration of Vietnam War Veterans Day, but Twitter users were quick to ridicule him over the bone spurs diagnosis he received during the Vietnam War draft.
“On this Vietnam War Veterans Day, we celebrate the brave Vietnam Veterans and all of America’s Veterans,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you for your service to our great Nation!”
Trump was diagnosed with bone spurs in his heels in 1968, and was medically except from serving in the military during the war.
Mental health counselor and author Jeffrey Guterman responded to Trump’s tweet by linking to a New York Times story from December on how a podiatrist in Queens, New York, may have helped Trump avoid being drafted. Who diagnosed Trump and how he was exempted remains unclear a half century later, and Trump stated on the campaign trail that he could not remember who signed the documentation.
“Trump bone spurs alert,” Guterman tweeted. “Daughters of podiatrist Dr. Larry Braunstein (pictured) say their father gave Trump a diagnosis of bone spurs as a favor to [his father] Fred Trump, who owned the office Braunstein worked in.”
“Thank you for your lack of service and your fraudulent bone spurs,” Guterman said in a separate tweet. “Asshole.”
Robert Maguire, research director of the watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, rebuked Trump on his Vietnam history.
“I wonder if this tweet praising Vietnam veterans was written by a White House staffer or the president whose wealthy dad helped him avoid service in that war,” Maguire said, “So he could later publicly mock the service of a man who was shot down, captured, and tortured for years in Vietnam.”
The end of Maguire’s tweet was referencing the late Republican Senator John McCain, who served and spent five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Trump, who has long despised McCain, in 2015 said “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Ed Krassenstein, co-founder of the liberal Hill Reporter publication, ridiculed Trump’s supposed bone spurs by tying them to special counsel Robert Mueller, who recently concluded his investigation on Trump and found no collusion.
“Let’s also celebrate Robert Mueller and his heroics in Vietnam,” Krassenstein tweeted. “While you were sitting this one out due to fake bone spurs, Robert Mueller was shot in his leg and continued to defend the nation.”