Sen. John McCain took some thinly-veiled shots at President Donald Trump when he said it was “wrong” that wealthy Americans were able to dodge the draft during the Vietnam War.
“One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest income level of America and the highest income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur,” McCain said in an interview where he discussed the draft that aired on C-SPAN 3 on Sunday. “That is wrong. That is wrong. If we’re going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve.”
Though he didn’t call out Trump by name, it is widely known that the president received five deferments from the draft during the Vietnam War, four for education and one for bone spurs in his heels.
Last year the New York Times got its hands on Trump’s Selective Service records, which revealed the story behind how Trump got out of serving in the deadly Vietnam War. In the interview, Trump said his bone spurs had been “temporary” and “minor” and that over time, they “healed up.”
“They were spurs,” he told the Times, noting that they were “enough of a problem.”
“You know, it was difficult from the long-term walking standpoint,” he said.
McCain served in Vietnam and was a prisoner of war for more than five years after his aircraft was shot down.
McCain was tortured and held in solitary confinement, but while Trump was on the campaign trail last year, he said McCain was “not a war hero.”
“I like people that weren’t captured,” Trump said.
McCain, 81, has served as Senator for Arizona since 1987 as a Republican. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in July and has since ramped up his criticism against Trump, the White House and other members of the Republican Party.