Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg on Thursday lashed out at President Trump. He focused on the fact that Trump said in the past he had bone spurs to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War. Buttigieg maintains that he faked the disability.
“Well, I have a pretty dim view of his decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam,” Buttigieg, an Afghanistan War veteran, said during a live-streamed interview with The Washington Post.
“Yeah, at least not that one,” he doubled down when asked if he thought the condition was faked. “This is actually really important because I don’t mean to trivialize disability, but I think that’s exactly what he did.”
The may from South Bend, Ind. has risen to national prominence in recent months following a media blitz that has included various interviews with national outlets.
Buttigieg is competing against more than 20 other Democrats for the party’s presidential nomination. He has also taken aim at Vice President Pence, suggesting he held homophobic views and hitting his tenure as Indiana governor, claims the vice president has rejected.
The mayor is still polling well behind front-runners like former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), but Buttigieg has risen in national and statewide polling and has raked in millions of dollars in campaign donations.
Democrats have criticized Trump over his claims of bone spurs to avoid the Vietnam War draft since he began campaigning for president in 2015.
Trump defended his medical claim in 2016, telling The New York Times a doctor “gave me a letter — a very strong letter on the heels” to give to draft officials.
Reports later emerged that a New York podiatrist may have given Trump the diagnosis as a favor to Trump’s father.