In the wake of a New York Times report delving into his military deferments, Donald Trump said that receiving a Purple Heart as a gift is much easier than being awarded it for being wounded during military service.
Speaking at a rally in Ashburn, Virginia, the GOP presidential nominee said that a man approached him and handed him his Purple Heart.
"He said, 'That's my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you.' And I said, 'Man, that's, like, that's, like, big stuff.' I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier," Trump said.
Trump has been embroiled in a controversy with the parents of slain Army Capt. Humayun Khan for appearing to compare his success in business with their sacrifice of losing their child. Compounding the fallout is Trump's history with the military: He received five draft deferments, four for education, another for a medical injury. But the report in The New York Times raises questions about the credibility of his claims.
Trump claimed to have received a doctor's note proving that he had bone spurs in his heels. However, when the Times asked him for a copy of the report, he could not provide the doctor's name, and requests for the documents were not answered.
In an interview with ABC News' Martha Raddatz on "This Week" in July 2015, his answer to a question about when he received a lottery number for the draft raised more questions.
"I was then entered into the draft, because if I would've gotten a different number, I could've been drafted. I was fortunate, in a sense, because I was not a believer in the Vietnam War," Trump said. "I got a very, very high draft number."
Raddatz interjected that the lottery didn't begin until 1969 and that he had deferments before the lottery.
"I was entered, excuse me, excuse me. I was entered into the lottery, the draft lottery," he said. "If I would've gotten a low number, I would've been drafted. I would have proudly served. But I got a number, I think it was 356, that's right at the very end. And they didn't get, I don't believe, past even 300."
But if he had a medical exemption, as the Times reported, his lottery number would have been irrelevant.