Pete Buttigieg takes on President Trump over Vietnam War medical deferment

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg answers questions at a Washington Post Live discussion, May 23, 2019, in Washington, DC.PlayWin Mcnamee/Getty Images
WATCH Pete Buttigieg takes on President Trump over Vietnam War medical deferment

Presidential candidate and war veteran Pete Buttigieg went after President Donald Trump over his medical deferment during the Vietnam War.

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"I don't have a problem standing up to somebody who was, you know, working on season seven of 'Celebrity Apprentice' when I was packing my bags for Afghanistan," the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said in wide-ranging discussion with the Washington Post's Robert Costa on Thursday.

Buttigieg added that he believed Trump used his status to fake a bone spur disability to avoid serving.

"You believe he faked a disability?" Costa asked.

"Do you believe he has a disability? Yeah. Yeah. At least not that one," Buttigieg said, targeting the president in jest.

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg answers questions at a Washington Post Live discussion, May 23, 2019, in Washington, DC. Win Mcnamee/Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg answers questions at a Washington Post Live discussion, May 23, 2019, in Washington, DC.

He continued, "I don't mean to trivialize disability, but I think that's exactly what he did.

"This is somebody who, I think it's fairly obvious to most of us, took advantage of the fact that he was a child of a multimillionaire in order to pretend to be disabled, so that somebody could go to war in his place."

Trump was exempted from military service in the 1960s after receiving a letter from a doctor saying he had a bone spur ailment.

"I asked for student deferment, like many other people during the war or around the time of the war. I had a minor medical deferment for feet, for a bone spur of the foot, which was minor," Trump said in an interview with ABC News in July 2015. "I was not a fan of the Vietnam War. But I was entered into the draft, and I got a very, very high draft number."

It's not the first time someone has accused the president of faking his medical problem. The president's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, made a similar claim in his first public testimony to Congress in February.

"Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery," said Cohen.

Cohen claimed the president told him, "You think I'm stupid, I wasn't going to Vietnam."