Donald Trump once again touted a Purple Heart he received from a veteran at one of his rallies -- despite generating controversy by saying he "always wanted" one and that it was "much easier" to get one of the medals, for being wounded in combat, that way.
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He also showed the crowd in Jacksonville, Fla. a check he said he received from a Gold Star family, days after tangling with the parents of a fallen Muslim soldier, Capt. Humayun Khan.
At the start of the rally, the GOP presidential candidate took out the Purple Heart -- which he debuted at a rally in Ashburn, Virginia, yesterday -- to a roar of approval from supporters who gathered at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Area.
"It's one of the most beautiful things that I've ever received," Trump said.
Trump holds up Purple Heart he was given at Virginia rally; "one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever received” https://t.co/WwdYvRtT5i— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 4, 2016
At yesterday's rally, following a New York Times report delving into his military deferments, Trump 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.
At today's rally, he recounted the story again, but slammed reports that the Purple Heart was fake. "The media is saying it's a replica," Trump said, to a chorus of boos from the audience. "They cheapen things, and it’s so sad to see."
Trump did acknowledge ABC News' Tom Llamas for accurately reporting that the medal is indeed authentic.
Veteran who survived mortar attack in Iraq & gave Trump his Purple Heart told me on cam the medal he gave Trump was the original 1/2— Tom Llamas (@TomLlamasABC) August 2, 2016
2/2 In follow up on phone be said repeatedly medal was original.— Tom Llamas (@TomLlamasABC) August 2, 2016
Trump then said he had met with six Gold Star families prior to the rally, adding that a family member handed him a campaign donation. "He said 'this is for your campaign,'" Trump said. "I haven't even opened it yet. He said it's more money than we can afford but we want you to have it."
Trump took a handful of bills from an envelope, but he didn't reveal the amount of the donation.
"I just thought it was amazing," Trump said. "The love in that room for this country is amazing."