- REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
- President Donald Trump’s medical exemption from the Vietnam War draft is in question after The New York Times reported that a podiatrist might have diagnosed him with bone spurs as a favor to his father Fred Trump.
- Donald Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio corroborated the Times report, saying that Trump took off his shoes and tried to show him his bone spurs when they met years ago.
- But D’Antonio said he didn’t see anything on Trump’s feet.
- He added that Trump might have genuinely believed that he had bone spurs.
A biographer of President Donald Trump said the president once took off his shoes to show him the alleged bone spurs that got him out of the draft for the Vietnam War, but he “didn’t see” any evidence of them.
Michael D’Antonio discussed the incident on CNN on Wednesday after The New York Times reported that a foot doctor might have falsely diagnosed Trump with bone spurs to help him avoid the Vietnam War as a favor to Trump’s father and the doctor’s landlord, Fred Trump.
D’Antonio, who saw the president’s feet while interviewing him for his 2015 book “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success,” said Trump might not even have known that the bone-spur diagnosis was questionable because he genuinely appeared to believe he had the podiatric problem.
He told CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday: “I’m not even sure actually that the president knows the truth about this. This is the odd thing: He may have been examined. He took off his shoes and tried to show me these bone spurs. I didn’t see anything.”
Bone spurs form in joints, often in places where two bones meet, as a result of joint damage.
Daughters of Dr. Larry Braunstein, the New York podiatrist, suggested to The Times that their father diagnosed Donald Trump with bone spurs so that Fred Trump would take care of his building.
Elysa Braunstein said: “If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and Trump would take care of it immediately. That was the small favor that he got.”
- REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Trump received four Vietnam War draft deferments for education while in college, then received a medical deferment for bone spurs that ultimately kept him from being eligible for the draft.
D’Antonio said on Wednesday: “So many of his biographical details are hazy. In this case, I believe these women, I don’t think there ever was a medical issue.”
Then-presidential candidate Trump told ABC News in 2015: “I had a minor medical deferment for feet, for a bone spur of the foot, which was minor … I was fortunate, in a sense, because I was not a believer in the Vietnam War.”
D’Antonio had discussed the bone spur diagnosis with Trump while interviewing him for his 2015 book, “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success,” D’Antonio wrote on CNN last year.
D’Antonio said: “The irony here is that Fred Trump was trying to do something for his son. Donald was not a conscientious objector but he really did not want to serve, and he was like millions of other young men during the Vietnam War who tried whatever they could do to get out of their service.”