Pete Buttigieg accused President Donald Trump on Thursday of exploiting his privileged upbringing to "fake a disability" during the Vietnam War so that "somebody could go to war in his place,” NBC News reported.
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor and Democratic 2020 contender, who served in Afghanistan as a Navy intelligence officer, sought to use his own military background to draw a sharp contrast with Trump. Pressed during a “Washington Post Live” interview on whether he believed that Trump, who cited bone spurs in his heel to be exempted from the draft, had a disability, Buttigieg suggested he did not — "at least not that one."
Buttigieg also lambasted the president for reportedly considering pardons for several U.S. service members or contractors convicted or accused of war crimes, calling it "disgusting."
Allegations that Trump dodged the draft have been a sore spot for the president dating back to his 2016 campaign, when it was revealed that he had received five deferments from service in the Vietnam War — four for education and one for a diagnosis of bone spurs.
There was no immediate comment from the White House.