“I always thought I was in the military. I felt like I was in the military in a true sense.”
—Donald Trump, who thinks he knows what it means to serve in the military — because he went to prep school.
Donald Trump has disparaged prisoners of war, lied about his donations to veterans charities, and described his alleged avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases as his “personal Vietnam.”
Donald Trump claims to respect servicemen and women, but he’s diminished military service to the equivalent of navigating New York’s dating scene.
This is Donald Trump’s military record:
Trump: Avoiding STDs Was “My Personal Vietnam.”
Trump Said Because Of STDs Dating Was “My Personal Vietnam. I Feel Like A Great And Very Brave Soldier.” “I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world. It is a dangerous world out there — it’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave solider.” [Howard Stern, 1997]
Trump: “We Have Our Own Vietnam. It’s Called The Dating Game.” “You know, if you’re young, and in this era, and if you have any guilt about not having gone to Vietnam. We have our own Vietnam. It’s called the dating game.” [Howard Stern, 1993]
Trump: “Dating Is Like Being In Vietnam. You’re The Equivalent Of A Soldier Going Over To Vietnam.” “Donald Trump: It’s pretty dangerous out there Robin. It’s like Vietnam. Howard Stern: It is, it is. The dating scene is like Vietnam. Trump: Dating is like being in Vietnam. You’re the equivalent of a soldier going over to Vietnam.” [Howard Stern, 1993]
Trump Said He Felt “A Little Guilty” For Not Serving In Vietnam Because Of His “Foot Thing.” “I love the country. I’ve seen what it can do. I didn’t serve. I haven’t served. And frankly I had deferments because of college, like a lot of people did – numerous deferments because of college and I had a foot thing and I got a deferment for that. At some point I probably would have — I was also in the draft and I got a very high number. I think it was 356. Can you believe that? We’re in the middle of the Vietnam War and I had a very, very high draft number, almost at the end. In fact, I got in about four numbers late and they kept calling numbers, numbers, numbers. I said ‘Oh, I guarantee my number must have been one of those early numbers.’ But it turned out – that was one of the, look, that was a rough war. […] So what happened is I always felt a little guilty and I was always, like other people, frankly, that didn’t serve – because I had people that did serve and I have friends who served and they’re very proud of it.” [Donald Trump, Rally, Waterville Valley, NH, 12/1/15]
Trump On Why He Didn’t Serve In Vietnam: “I Was Going To College, I Had Student Deferments. I Also Got A Great Lottery Number.” [Imus In the Morning, 5/11/16]
Trump On Military Service, 1995: “I’m A Financial Warrior; I Don’t Have The Guts To Do This Stuff.” According to Daily News, “Trump did not serve in the military. ‘I’m a financial warrior; I don’t have the guts to do this stuff,’ he said.” [Daily News, 11/11/95]
Trump: “I Always Thought I Was In The Military. I Felt Like I Was In The Military In A True Sense Because I Dealt With The People.” According to Never Enough: Donald Trump And The Pursuit Of Success, “But Trump also insisted that he had actually known military life. In a separate conversation he said, ‘I always thought I was in the military.’ He said that in prep school he received more military training than most actual soldiers did, and he had been required to live under the command of men such as Ted Dobias who had been real officers and soldiers. ‘I felt like I was in the military in a true sense,’ added Trump, ‘because I dealt with the people.’” [Michael D’Antonio: Never Enough: Donald Trump And The Pursuit Of Success, September 2015]