Donald Trump's Military Service Deferment Under Renewed Scrutiny Amid Khan Backlash

New York Times report shows Trump received five deferments from the draft during Vietnam war, four of which were educational and one of which was medical.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on during the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Brendan Smialowski. AFP

The New York Times questioned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's explanation on how he avoided being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War on Monday, hinting that he may have unduly received a medical exemption.

Trump's deferment from military service has been scrutinized recently following, the speech given by Khizr Khan, a father of a fallen Muslim-American soldier, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week. Khan addressed Trump and said "You have sacrificed nothing and no one."

In an article by Steve Eder and Dave Philipps, the Times said that Trump received five deferments from the draft during the Vietnam War, only one of which was for medical purposes. The report details the educational defermants Trump received, the first of which was the month after he turned 18 during his studies at Fordham University. He then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where received three more deferments during his sophomore, junior and senior years.

He was granted his medical deferment the fall after graduating. According to the report, Trump was asked to provide the doctor's letter that diagnosed him as suffering from heel spurs, protrusions of calcium buildup in the heels, which effectively led to his avoidance of the draft. After initially telling the Times that he would look for the document, his people have refused to respond to repeated requests to provide the document.

In the article, The Times listed several comments Trump made over the years about this medical condition showing they were inconsistent. These included an instance last year in which Trump couldn't recall which of his heels was effected by the spurs, with his campaign later claiming it was both. The article also questioned the veracity of Trump's statement that his avoidance of the draft was due to him being lucky in the draft lottery. The article showed that when the lottery took place Trump had already received his medical deferment.