Politics

McCain Appears to Jab Trump Over Draft-Dodging

Says upper-class Americans avoided Vietnam by getting doctors to say they had a bone spur

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., subtly criticized President Donald Trump without saying his name. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Without mentioning a specific name, Sen. John McCain aapeared to take a veiled swipe at President Donald Trump for dodging the draft during the Vietnam War.

In an interview with C-SPAN3’s “American History TV,” McCain commented about the mistakes made by political leadership during the war.

In a clip posted on Twitter, McCain also commented on the divide between classes during the Vietnam-era military draft.

“One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never ever countenance that we drafted the lowest income level of America and the highest income level found a doctor that would say they had a bone spur,” McCain said. “That is wrong. That is wrong. If we are going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve.”

The latter was widely interpreted as a swipe at Trump, who received five deferments, four during his time in college and a last one for having bone spurs in his feet.

Trump infamously mocked McCain’s service in Vietnam, saying “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured.”

McCain was a prisoner of war for 5½ years in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”

In an interview with “60 Minutes” last month, McCain said that Trump never apologized for his remarks. During that interview, McCain swiped Trump for their differing lifestyle choices.

“He is in the business of making money and he has been successful both in television as well as Miss America and others. I was raised in a military family,” he said. “I was raised in the concept and belief that duty, honor, country is the — is the lodestar for the behavior that we have to exhibit every single day.”

The Arizona Republican and former GOP presidential nominee was diagnosed with brain cancer this summer.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.