Trump: “I Always Wanted to Get the Purple Heart. This Was Much Easier.”

The GOP nominee was gifted the war decoration at a rally in Ashburn, Virginia.


A day after the New York Times published a bombshell review of Donald Trump’s checkered military deferment record, the Republican nominee held up a Purple Heart medal in front of a crowd in Ashburn, Virginia, on Tuesday. He told the audience that a veteran had approached him earlier in the day and offered up his own war decoration for the real estate magnate to keep. “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart,” Trump said. “This was much easier.”

According to Trump, the man handed over the Purple Heart and urged him to continue “saying what you’ve been saying”—an apparent vote of support for the presidential hopeful’s inflammatory rhetoric.

The bizarre comments come on the heels of a Times report that revealed Trump secured a total of five military deferments that helped him escape service during the Vietnam War. While avoiding service, Trump apparently slept with numerous women and never contracted any sexually transmitted diseases—an experience that he described to Howard Stern in 1997 as his “personal Vietnam.”

In recent days, Trump has come under intense fire for his ongoing feud with Khizr Khan, the father of a war hero who was killed in the line of duty. Last week, Khan delivered one of the most powerful speeches at the Democratic National Convention, in which he excoriated Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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