McCain takes veiled shots at Trump over draft dodging

Cheryl Sanders
October 23, 2017

McCain, who made the remarks while discussing the Vietnam War in an interview with C-SPAN3 that aired Sunday, echoed questions that surfaced during the 2016 campaign about Trump's medical history and war deferments. "If we are going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve", said McCain, the son of an admiral who refused an offer of early release by his captors despite being tortured.

Donald Trump's least presidential moments so far.

Trump received five deferments during Vietnam: four for his studies in college, and one for - you guessed it - bone spurs in his heel.

It is not the first time the senior Republicans have clashed over the Vietnam War, in which Mr McCain served as a naval aviator.

In the C-SPAN interview, McCain said the lessons learned from Vietnam include that the United States needs to have a "strategy and a capability to win" before getting involved in a conflict.

The Vietnam War has been invoked before in a long-simmering battle between Trump and McCain. Critics claimed Trump had evaded the draft with a questionable diagnosis.

Trump took offense and said, "I'm being very nice". He sparked a public debate in 2015 when he told the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, that McCain was "not a war hero" because he was captured.

Senator John McCain delivered a thinly veiled attack of President Trump's lack of military service on Sunday evening.

"I had a doctor that gave me a letter, a very strong letter on the heels", Trump told the paper.

McCain, a Vietnam veteran who was shot, captured and held for more than five years as a prisoner of war, subtly talked about the president's five draft evasions, including one involving a doctor saying he had bone spurs in 1968. "He was a war hero because he was captured".

But it would be a pretty big coincidence for McCain to bring up that particular ailment - especially in light of his regular criticisms of Trump and his clear allusion to Trump's "half-baked spurious nationalism" in a speech two days before taping this interview.

Trump lashed out Tuesday, telling conservative radio host Chris Plante: "People have to be careful because at some point I fight back".

Other reports by iNewsToday