5 shining examples of Trump’s patriotism

Taking a knee is too much for him, however.

President Donald Trump speaks to military personnel and their families at Andrews Air Force Base, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks to military personnel and their families at Andrews Air Force Base, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump transformed himself over the weekend into a one-man litmus test on the patriotism of America’s favorite pastimes. On Friday, he said he hoped any “son of a bitch” who kneels during the national anthem would get fired by the NFL owners, before tweeting on Monday that he was “[s]o proud of NASCAR and its supporters” for not disrespecting the country.

The President insisted that his comments were solely about being patriotic, and about “respect for our country and respect for our flag.” But Trump’s own history reveals a man who unabashedly ducks away from his patriotic duty when needed – and then goes on to insult those who did. Here are five notable examples:

Trump developed a mysterious case of bone spurs after being drafted for Vietnam

When Trump was in college from 1964 to 1968 he received four draft deferments for education. Then, in 1968, Trump received a coveted 1-Y medical deferment for bone spurs on the heels of his feet. This was despite Trump having an otherwise completely perfect medical history. The President has been repeatedly vague in describing his draft experience – telling The New York Times that it was a “minor” malady and that he could not remember which heel had been involved.

Trump said his “personal Vietnam” was avoiding sexual transmitted disease, calling himself a “brave soldier”

Thirty years after Trump avoided the draft he told the Howard Stern show that his own “personal” Vietnam had been his sex life in 1980s New York, and how he was “lucky” not to contract an STI.  “I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world,” he said. “It is a dangerous world out there. It’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam-era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.”

Trump said POWs are not heroes because they were captured

During a much-publicized running feud with Arizona Senator John McCain, Trump scoffed at the idea that he should respect to the decorated pilot. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”


In 1967, John McCain was shot down over Northern Vietnam during a bombing raid, breaking both his arms and right leg while ejecting from his plane. He spent the next five-and-a-half years in the notorious “Hanoi Hilton” prison camp, where he was repeatedly tortured and spent two years in solitary confinement. The scars of the experience remain – even today McCain is unable to raise either of his arms above his shoulders. Trump has reportedly never apologized to McCain for the remarks.

Trump attacked a gold-star family

At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, gold-star parents Khizr Muazzam Khan and Ghazala Khan, gave an heart-breaking speech talking about their decorated Army captain son Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq in 2004. Mr. Khazn used the chance to decry Trump’s plan to temporary ban Muslims from entering the country. Trump, naturally, took to Twitter to denounce their criticism of him.

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably – maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say,” he told ABC News. Mrs. Khan later said that she couldn’t bring herself to speak because her son’s death was still too painful.

After 9/11, Trump bragged he now owned the tallest building in New York City

On September 11th New Yorkers were looking for leadership after their city suffered the worst terrorist attack in American history. Instead, Trump used the chance to brag about how his downtown Manhattan building, 40 Wall Street, was now the tallest in the city.


“[40 Wall Street] was actually the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest – and then, when they build the World Trade Center, it became known as the second tallest,” he said. “And now it’s the tallest”. His claim later turned out to be false.