As a college enrollee from 1964-1968 Trump had been protected from the
Vietnam War draft. After graduating, he became
eligible for the draft on July 9, 1968.
Just two months later, he became medically ineligible, on Sept. 17, 1968.
Trump averred in 2016 that "I had a doctor that gave me a letter -- a very strong
letter on the heels," continuing that the condition was temporary and that it was
"not a big problem, but it was enough of a problem." He did not produce any
Long speculation held that the heel
spur diagnosis was a ruse to avoid military service
. In late 2018
the daughters of a New York podiatrist,
Larry Braunstein, spoke to the New York
The doctor's daughters said his role in Mr. Trump's military exemption had long
been the subject of discussions among relatives and friends. "It was family lore,"
said Elysa Braunstein. "It was something we would always discuss."
Dr. Braunstein rented office space from Trump's father, and afterwards received
concessions on the rent, according to a podiatry colleague 3
Speculation turned to fact in early 2019 when Trump's longtime
attorney testified as follows, under oath, before Congress and a large
During the campaign [in 2015-2016] Mr. Trump tasked me to
handle the negative press surrounding his medical deferment from the
Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for
medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery. He told
me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply
the fact that he received a medical deferment.
He finished the conversation with the following comment. "You think I'm
stupid, I wasn't going to Vietnam"