Newly released documents suggest that a young Donald Trump received several deferments that could have allowed him to avoid service in Vietnam, contrasting claims he made this week that he missed the draft solely because he had a high lottery number.
Trump, who has hinted in recent weeks at a possible run for the White House, told WNYW, the New York Fox affiliate, that he was "lucky" to avoid the draft and remembered the lottery taking place while he was a student at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
"I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers and I got a very, very high number and those numbers never got up to," Trump said.
In that conversation Trump did not mention he also received several deferments.
According to his Selective Service records, first obtained by the website The Smoking Gun through a Freedom of Information Act request, Trump received four student deferments between 1964 and 1968 while in college and an additional medical deferment after graduating.
Trump graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in 1968. The lottery occurred in December 1969, conflicting with Trump's recollection of the event.
Lottery numbers ranged from 1 to 365 and were allotted according to birthdates. Trump's number was a very high, 356.
Trump received his first two student deferments while enrolled at Fordham University in New York City in June 1964 and December 1965. He transferred to Wharton as a sophomore that year and received another two 2-S deferments in December 1966 and January 1968 during his last year of college.
He was classified "available for service" (class 1-A) in November 1966, but just three weeks later in December 1966 he was given a new student deferment.
Upon graduation Trump, the son of a wealthy New York City real estate developer, was no longer eligible for student deferments.
In October 1968, he was declared medically unfit to serve except "in time of national emergency," even though he had been declared fit to serve in 1966.
In 1972, Trump was ultimately declared ineligible for service and given a final 4-F deferment.
The documents do not specify the reasons Trump was given a medical deferment. Nor do the documents categorically suggest it was deferments and not a high draft number that ultimately allowed him to avoid the draft.
The discovery of the records come in the same week President Obama released his long form birth certificate proving that he was born in Hawaii in 1964. Trump, 64, a billionaire businessman turned reality star, has tested the waters for a possible presidential run in recent weeks, demanding that Obama release his own records.
Trump made additional headlines Thursday when he delivered a profanity-laden speech to supporters in Las Vegas.
In the 30-minute speech dedicated mostly to U.S. foreign policy, Trump used the F-word several times and disparaged U.S. politicians.
"Our leaders are stupid, they are stupid people," he said. It's just very, very sad."
Trump assailed U.S. policy towards Saudi Arabia, Libya, Afghanistan and China.
"They go in and raise the price of oil, because we have nobody in Washington that sits back and say, 'You're not going to raise that f---ing price. You understand me?'" Trump said of Saudi Arabia's role in setting oil and gas prices.
Trump said U.S. efforts at development in the countries at which we are currently at war were for naught.