Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said on ABC’s This Week that Donald Trump’s proposal to pardon servicemen accused of war crimes threatens the “legal and moral” foundations of America.
“When you serve, you are agreeing to serve the Constitution and uphold the law and, frankly, his idea that being sent to fight makes you automatically into some kind of war criminal is a slander against veterans that could come only from somebody who never served,” Buttigieg said.
How did Buttigieg twist Trump’s words into a “slander” against veterans?
“Some of these soldiers are people that have fought hard and long,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “You know, we teach them how to be great fighters, and then when they fight, sometimes they get really treated very unfairly.”
Sorry, Pete, but I don’t see it. Of course, it was never about Trump slandering those who served. It was all about Buttigieg pushing the narrative of Trump’s deferments allowing him to avoid service.
The draft was over for almost 10 years before Buttigieg was even born. He has no conception whatsoever of the times in which Trump was eligible to be drafted.
Buttigieg, who has risen from obscurity to a top-tier candidate in the Democratic primary race in recent months, has made a point of contrasting his own military service to Trump’s lack of service — and this week accused him of faking a disability to avoid serving in Vietnam.
“This is somebody who, I think it’s fairly obvious to most of us, took advantage of the fact that he was the child of a multimillionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place,” Buttigieg said this week in an interview with The Washington Post.
Trump received five deferments from the draft for military service during the Vietnam War. Four were education deferments while he was a college student and the fifth – in 1968 after he graduated – was a medical exemption.
“I have a pretty dim view of his [Trump’s] decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam,” he said.
Talk about slander; what information does Buttigieg have to prove Trump faked a disability in order to avoid service? This is an incredibly serious charge and demands ironclad proof to make it against a sitting president of the United States. Buttigieg has nothing. But, as the Trump campaign pointed out, the mayor has been slipping in the polls and needed a boost:
“Mayor Pete’s moment in the sun has just about come to an end, so he’ll say anything to try to stay relevant to the radicals in the Democrat Party,” campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.
Trump’s point about soldiers being treated unfairly for killing the enemy may be valid. Or it may not be. The three cases the president is reviewing are controversial. Trump should have waited until the wheels of justice had stopped turning before even suggesting pardons.
But he certainly never slandered veterans. Not like Buttigieg slandered him.