Trump: “I Always Wanted to Get the Purple Heart. This Was Much Easier.”

The GOP nominee was gifted the war decoration at a rally in Ashburn, Virginia.


A day after the New York Times published a bombshell review of Donald Trump’s checkered military deferment record, the Republican nominee held up a Purple Heart medal in front of a crowd in Ashburn, Virginia, on Tuesday. He told the audience that a veteran had approached him earlier in the day and offered up his own war decoration for the real estate magnate to keep. “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart,” Trump said. “This was much easier.”

According to Trump, the man handed over the Purple Heart and urged him to continue “saying what you’ve been saying”—an apparent vote of support for the presidential hopeful’s inflammatory rhetoric.

The bizarre comments come on the heels of a Times report that revealed Trump secured a total of five military deferments that helped him escape service during the Vietnam War. While avoiding service, Trump apparently slept with numerous women and never contracted any sexually transmitted diseases—an experience that he described to Howard Stern in 1997 as his “personal Vietnam.”

In recent days, Trump has come under intense fire for his ongoing feud with Khizr Khan, the father of a war hero who was killed in the line of duty. Last week, Khan delivered one of the most powerful speeches at the Democratic National Convention, in which he excoriated Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate