I am tired of hearing pundits say that Trump is champing at the bit to sit down in a face-to-face with Bob Mueller to clear his name.
Clear his name? My sweet Aunt Tillie’s kishkes!
If it’s true that Cadet Bone Spurs Trump wants to have his mano-a-mano with the former Marine rifle platoon leader who trained at Parris Island, attended Officer Candidate School, Army Ranger School, and Army jump school we have to ask why.
My hunch is based on my assessment of his off-the-charts narcissism. It is because he thinks he can either intimidate him or con him, or both.
He wants to engage in a cage match the Marine who earned the Bronze Star with “V” distinction for combat valor for rescuing a wounded Marine under enemy fire during an ambush during which he saw half of his platoon become casualties.
No problem for the rage-Tweeter-in-Chief.
Trump thinks he’s the best counter-puncher in the world. Mueller, he must think, is quaking in his cheap FBI issue Florsheims.
Trump thinks that he’s quite capable of pulling the wool over the eyes of the special counsel, who happens to be the longest-serving FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover (2001-2013), with a fusillade of lies.
He thinks he can vanquish the special counsel who charged into a barrage of bullets with a bombardment of bombast.
He thinks he can intimidate the man who was shot in the thigh, who recovered, and then returned to lead his platoon in combat.
Trump, with his blustering delusional self-regard, thinks that the medals and awards won by the former Marine captain ( the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, Purple Heart Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat “V”, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Parachutist Badge ) are nothing more than Cracker Jack box toys. Information from Wikipedia
Trump’ s lawyers are loath to allow Trump to sit with the steely-eyed square-jawed combat veteran.
They know Mueller has the goods on their client who they know is as guilty as a fox with a squawking bloody chicken in its mouth.
They also know that Trump is as outmatched by Mueller as the fox would be outmatched by a farmer with a 12 gauge.
Recommended reading: ”The Untold Story Of Robert Mueller’s Time In Combat”by Garrett M. Graff, contributing editor at WIRED and author of “The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s FBI and the War on Global Terror.” Trump and his lawyers would be advised to read this too.
For more than 50 years, every American president has been forced to grapple, in one way or another, with the quagmire of the Vietnam War. Now it’s Donald Trump’s turn.
The ghosts of Vietnam are stirring anew, just as Trump prepares to visit the nation on his first presidential tour of Asia. Vietnam war hero Sen. John McCain, who spent more than five years in a prisoner of war camp after his plane was shot down, this week put an unwelcome spotlight on Trump’s five draft deferments to avoid military service. And Trump’s prolonged political tussle over the proper way for presidents to honor and grieve with the families of fallen soldiers has focused attention on his lack of military service as well.
Trump tried to set all that aside Monday as he presented the Medal of Honor to retired Capt. Gary Rose, a Vietnam era medic who repeatedly ran into the line of enemy fire and ignored his own wounds to save his colleagues during a fierce firefight in enemy-controlled territory in September 1970.
“Mike, this is serious stuff,” Trump said. “Your love for your fellow soldier, your devotion to your country inspires us all.”
But the matter of Trump’s lack of service wasn’t far off stage.
McCain, the Arizona Republican who has frequently clashed with the president, made clear he had Trump in mind Monday as he criticized the Vietnam draft system that forced low-income Americans to serve while the wealthy could avoid war with a doctor’s note. Trump, the son of a millionaire developer, received draft deferments, one attained with a physician’s letter stating that he suffered from bone spurs in his feet.
“I don’t consider him so much a draft dodger as I feel that the system was so wrong that certain Americans could evade their responsibilities to serve the country,” McCain said on ABC’s “The View.” McCain was being pressed about earlier comments on C-SPAN in which he lamented that the military “drafted the lowest income level of America and the highest income level found a doctor that would say they had a bone spur.”
When a host on the ABC show remarked that people thought McCain had been talking about Trump on C-SPAN because the president had sought a medical deferment, McCain interjected, “More than once, yes.”
Over the decades, Vietnam has become shorthand for a bogged-down military conflict, a comparison invoked during more recent struggles in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has served as a cautionary lesson about the political peril for presidents ensnared in prolonged overseas military operations.
President Lyndon Johnson abandoned his re-election quest after an escalation in the war led to more American deaths, while President Richard Nixon took fierce criticism for expanding the conflict. President Bill Clinton’s wartime deferment before he entered the Vietnam draft generated considerable heat during the 1992 presidential campaign.
More recently, questions about the service of George W. Bush and John Kerry were prominent in the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard but faced scrutiny over his status and why he was never deployed overseas. Kerry was a decorated veteran who threw away his medals and testified against the war before Congress. His service record was questioned in campaign ads.
Obama, the first post-Vietnam president, positioned himself as the one who might heal the rift between those who served and those who didn’t. Although he, too, was burdened with lessons of the war.
“Let us resolve that when America sends our sons and daughters into harm’s way, we will always give them a clear mission; we will always give them a sound strategy; we will give them the equipment they need to get the job done,” Obama said at a visit to the Vietnam Memorial in 2012. “We will have their backs.”
Trump is slated to make his first presidential trip to Vietnam early next month as part of his 12-day, five-nation Asia tour. He will participate in an international summit in Da Nang before meeting the Vietnamese president in Hanoi. The White House said Monday it had not been decided if Trump would visit any war sites, like the prison where McCain was held.
Trump ignited a feud with McCain in July 2015 when he belittled the senator’s time in captivity.
“He’s not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Trump once compared his ability to avoid sexually transmitted diseases in the Manhattan dating scene of the 1980s and 1990s to the perils of wartime that claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans in Vietnam.
“It is a dangerous world out there,” Trump said in a 1997 interview with shock jock Howard Stern. “It’s like Vietnam, sort of. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.”
The renewed focus on Trump’s lack of service in Vietnam comes as he faces scrutiny over his treatment of the families of America’s war dead.
Trump has been pushing back against criticism from the family of slain Army Sgt. La David Johnson, killed this month in Niger, that he was disrespectful in his condolence call to the new widow.
Trump has steadfastly denied the claim. But the Johnsons are not the only family of a slain solider to be angry at Trump.
The family of Capt. Ben Cross of Bethel, Maine, who was one of three Marines killed in an MV-22 Osprey crash in August off the coast of Australia, received a condolence letter from Trump on Friday.
The family questioned the timing of the letter, which arrived via overnight mail after the controversy over Gold Star families had erupted.
“I think that anyone who received five deferrals in order to avoid military service is unfit to be commander in chief and even less qualified to console a grieving family who has lost a loved one defending our country,” Cross’ brother Ryan said Monday. “He doesn’t know the first thing about service or sacrifice.”
Associated Press writer David Sharp contributed reporting from Portland, Maine.
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When Donald Trump got into trouble as a kid, which happened a lot, his strong-willed father shipped him off to a military school to “teach him discipline.”
We’re not sure that, if anything, Trump learned in that school but discipline was not something that sank in.
Trump is many things: A liar, a con artist, a serial sexual predator, a manipulator and other sordid items but the man who went to military school worked the system to the hilt to make sure he never served his country in uniform.
The 45th President of the United States actively sought five deferments to keep him out of the military during the Vietnam war era and one of those deferments came from a doctor who said he had “bone spurs” in his heels. That then led to a “1-Y” classification, which left him “unqualified for duty.”
Trump had avoided the draft — and the possibility of being sent to fight in the Vietnam War — by obtaining four separate deferments so he could study at Fordham University and the University of Pennsylvania. With his diploma in hand and his college days over, he was suddenly vulnerable to conscription.
Trump’s exposure to the draft, however, didn’t last long. Two months later, on Sept. 17, 1968, he reported for an armed forces physical examination and was medically disqualified, according to the ledger from his local Selective Service System draft board in Jamaica, N.Y., now in the custody of the National Archives.
An interesting diagnosis for the 6 foot 2 inches tall Trump who, at 180 pounds when he graduated from New York Military Academy in 1964 and played football and basketball without any signs of medical problems.
During his campaign for President in 2015 and 2016, Trump listed various — and often conflicted — reasons for his ability to avoid the draft at a time when the military looked for young men to serve and die in the Vietnam war.
He cited his “bone spurs.” His campaign said he had a high draft lottery number. The draft office records simply said a “medical condition.” His other four deferments came from staying in colleges and universities to obtain education qualifications to avoid the draft.
Trump is not the only recent president to play the system to stay out of the Vietnam war. Bill Clinton used a Rhodes Scholarship and back ordered papers to avoid the draft. George W. Bush hid out in the Texas Air National Guard, where he often played hooky and did not serve his full deployment. Barack Obama never served. The last American President who served was George H.W. Bush, a decorated Navy pilot who was shot down in World War II.
With military service now comprised mostly of an “all-volunteer” population, such service is far more rare than when the draft was in effect in previous wars, including Vietnam.
Navy veteran and former prisoner of war John McCain also has a few things to say about Trump’s lack of service to his country:
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. That is wrong. That is wrong. If we are going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve.
Trump, during his campaign, criticized McCain for his time as a prisoner of war.
He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.
McCain, the next day, said he wasn’t trying to call Trump a draft dodger. Too bad, because he is.
McCain is a highly decorated Navy combat pilot whose plane was brought down by a North Vietnamese missile on Oct. 26, 1967. After a rough ejection that left him with both arms and his left leg severely fractured, McCain’s parachute came down in a lake and he had to use his teeth to inflate his life vest.
When North Vietnamese captured him, they beat and spat on him. He spent two of his six years in a prisoner of war camp. When interrogators tried to force him to give up names of fellow pilots, he gave them the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line.
When his captors learned McCain’s father was an admiral, they offered him release ahead of other prisoners as a propaganda ploy. He refused and received more severe beatings before finally coming home on March 14, 1973, with other POWs.
John McCain served his country as a hero under duress.
Donald Trump insults his country as a coward. Bone spurs? More like a case of being boneheaded, which the dictionary defines as “a foolish or stupid person.”