Examination Faked? Did a Queens Podiatrist Help Donald Trump Avoid Vietnam?

“What he got was access to Fred Trump,” Elysa Braunstein said. “If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and Trump would take care of it immediately. That was the small favor that he got.”

The office where Dr. Larry Braunstein practiced podiatry in Jamaica, Queens. His daughters say he came to Donald J. Trump’s aid with a diagnosis of bone spurs during the Vietnam draft.CreditCreditDave Sanders for The New York Times

In the fall of 1968, Donald J. Trump received a timely diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels that led to his medical exemption from the military during Vietnam.

For 50 years, the details of how the exemption came about, and who made the diagnosis, have remained a mystery, with Mr. Trump himself saying during the presidential campaign that he could not recall who had signed off on the medical documentation.

Now a possible explanation has emerged about the documentation. It involves a foot doctor in Queens who rented his office from Mr. Trump’s father, Fred C. Trump, and a suggestion that the diagnosis was granted as a courtesy to the elder Mr. Trump.

The podiatrist, Dr. Larry Braunstein, died in 2007. But his daughters say their father often told the story of coming to the aid of a young Mr. Trump during the Vietnam War as a favor to his father.

“I know it was a favor,” said one daughter, Dr. Elysa Braunstein, 56, who along with her sister, Sharon Kessel, 53, shared the family’s account for the first time publicly when contacted by The New York Times.

Elysa Braunstein said the implication from her father was that Mr. Trump did not have a disqualifying foot ailment. “But did he examine him? I don’t know,” she said.

read more at NYTimes



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  1. https://www.salon.com/2016/06/04/donald_trump_is_a_chicken_hawk_and_a_hypocrite_the_real_story_about_vietnam_and_the_draft/ Quote:
    “The rich and/or the privileged have always had the option of staying away from war—and most of them take it up, no matter the time or the country. Some don’t—and these need to be appreciated as real heroes, whether we agree with them politically or not (the attacks on Kerry were shameful). Some take it, but make clear their disapproval of the conflict, as Clinton did, leaving them in a somewhat morally ambiguous position—certainly not one to be proud of but also not particularly shameful. There are others—and these are the ones Ochs lampoons in his song—who cheer on the soldiers while scrambling to avoid joining them. By letting others go to die when they will not risk their own lives for the cause, they are among the lowest of the low.
    Joining them at the bottom are the politicians who, without serving, pander to the image of those who did, associating with them for their own advancement. Trump, today, is abusing veterans a second time–and in just this way. First, he let them go where he would not. Second, after years of ignoring them, he suddenly claims to be acting on their behalf.
    Given his past and knowledge of the situation at the time, I would think any veteran would be leery of supporting him.”

  2. If your father is a real estate guy in NYC then this story fits. Everything is a favor. Favors are one of the engines that drive NY.
    The point is not that others were doing it too. The point is this president did it, and is authoritarian. Not a good mix. It greatly diminishes his ability to lead the military as the commander in chief.
    Stopping war is the way to win for Trump. His window is not large.

    • Exactly! He has no credibility whatsoever! And looking more broadly, he has no real character. He is more chameleon than human.

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