Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg on Thursday hammered President Trump for in the past saying he had bone spurs to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War, saying he faked the disability.
“Well, I have a pretty dim view of his decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam,” Buttigieg, an Afghanistan War veteran, said during a livestreamed interview with The Washington Post.
“Yeah, at least not that one,” he doubled down when asked if he thought the condition was faked. “This is actually really important because I don’t mean to trivialize disability, but I think that’s exactly what he did.”
The South Bend, Ind., mayor has shot to national prominence in recent months following a media blitz that has included various interviews with national outlets as well as more niche publications.
Buttigieg, who is competing against more than 20 other Democrats for the party’s presidential nomination, has also gone after Vice President Pence, suggesting he held homophobic views and hitting his tenure as Indiana governor, claims the vice president has rejected.
While still polling well behind front-runners like former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Buttigieg has risen in national and statewide polling and has raked in millions of dollars in campaign donations.
Democrats have criticized Trump over his claims of bone spurs to avoid the Vietnam War draft since he began campaigning for president in 2015.