Rep. Seth Moulton on Wednesday said “everybody knows” President Trump faked bone spurs to get out of serving in the Vietnam War, saying the issue is worthwhile to look at in terms of how it informs Mr. Trump’s approach as commander in chief.
“And what Trump doesn’t seem to understand is that there was not some empty seat in Vietnam with his name on it,” Mr. Moulton said at an event hosted by The Washington Post. “Some American had to go in his place. I’d like to meet that American hero someday who went in Donald Trump’s place, and I hope he’s still alive.”
“It makes him unpatriotic, and I don’t know why Democrats have sort of ceded patriotism to conservatives and Republicans,” he said. “Trump has a totally warped view of patriotism.”
Mr. Moulton, an Iraq War veteran and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, didn’t qualify for the Democratic National Committee’s first debates this week but is still planning to head to Miami, the site of the debate, which will be held over the course of two nights on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Massachusetts Democrat said being a conscientious objector to the war, as Sen. Bernard Sanders had applied for, is legal.
“Lying about your medical forms is not,” he said.
Mr. Trump, who received a handful of student deferments, got a medical exemption in 1968 after being diagnosed with bone spurs. He has maintained that the diagnosis was legitimate amid questions from people like Mr. Moulton.
“Let’s examine where this informs who he is as a leader and as a commander in chief,” Mr. Moulton said. “The problem is that I think they inform who he is.”
He said that as far as he knows, the deferments of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who got student deferments and eventually was disqualified from service due to asthma, were legitimate.
“That’s very different than lying about bone spurs,” Mr. Moulton said. “If we want to go into it, sure, we can, but I’ve never heard anyone question Vice President Biden’s deferments … there have been an awful lot of questions about how Trump got his.”