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.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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