One thing about Donald Trump has become very clear: He would never go Galt. He would also never get a job as a Sunday School teacher. Speaking in Las Vegas last night, the Donald gave John Kerry a run for his cursing money.
We can debate all day whether it’s presidential to speak like this or not. I happen to think it’s not, but after the Nixon tapes, a pair of episodes with then VP Dick Cheney and “Captain Kickass,” this isn’t likely to sink Trump’s run.
What might sink him, at least among GOP primary voters, is the Smoking Gun’s look at Trump and the Vietnam war.
During a TV interview Tuesday morning, Trump–who spent his high school years enrolled at the New York Military Academy–said, “I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number. I’ll never forget, that was an amazing period of time in my life.”
He went on to recall, “I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers and I got a very, very high number and those numbers never got up to.” The word “deferment” was not mentioned by Trump during his chat with the morning show hosts on WNYW, the Fox affiliate in New York City.
However, Selective Service records reveal that Trump, the fortunate son of a multimillionaire real estate baron, took repeated steps to avoid serving in Vietnam.
By the time his number (356) was drawn during the December 1, 1969 draft lottery, Trump had already received four student deferments and a medical deferment, according to military records on file with the National Archives and Records Administration. An extract of Trump’s Selective Classification record, seen here, was provided in response to a TSG records request.
In fact, the December 1969 draft lottery occurred about 18 months after Trump graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied business at the Wharton School. So, while claiming that he would “never forget” being at Wharton watching the draft numbers being drawn, the 64-year-old Trump seems to have misremembered, as candidates are fond of saying.
I’ll join everyone justifiably howling that TSG got ahold of Trump’s records so quickly, but no one has managed to find Obama’s college records at all. Or any evidence that The One has ever experienced a profound thought. There are some differences here; these are federal records and there just happens to be a Democrat administration that obviously finds Trump threatening in charge.
The American electorate outside the GOP primary has already put its stamp of approval on a draft dodging president, twice — Bill Clinton — and has once elected a far left ideologue with no relevant job experience on his resume. But they were both Democrats; Trump is positioning himself as a conservative Republican. So this is all somewhat more likely to cause him some problems. Had Trump chosen a different path, he could have dodged both of these potential problems very easily, just by appending a D after his name.