Donald Trump has entered the awkward stage of his almost-certainly-faux presidential campaign. No longer an amusing puffy-cheeked curiosity, he's now being made to endure the harsh realities of a grown-up candidate. Meaning people are actually trying to figure out how much of what Trump has said about himself is lies. Such as: How did Trump really stay out of Vietnam? This is Trumpdate.
- Stumping in Vegas Perhaps debuting his new "thing" since birtherism is so two days ago, Trump showered an adoring crowd at the Treasure Island Hotel with f-bombs, much to their delight. "I've been dealing with politicians all my fucking life,” Trump said, according to the International Business Times. On wars overseas: "We build a school, we build a road, they blow up the school, we build another school, we build another road they blow them up, we build again, in the meantime we can't get a fucking school in Brooklyn." On OPEC: "We have nobody in Washington that sits back and said, you're not going to raise that fucking price.” On a potential export tariff on China: "Listen you motherfuckers, we're going to tax you 25 percent!" How big was the crowd? It depends on when you ask. The New York Times' Michael Barbaro reports, “They were expecting 600. They got 1,200," Trump said, to "no one in particular." Then Trump took a quick elevator ride from the casino floor to the hotel ballroom. “They were expecting 400,” he said, “and they got 1,450. ... Who else gets this crowd?" Trump gave the audience--however big it was--not so much a stump speech as "a series of carefully crafted zingers," Barbaro writes. As for another murky part of his past, his love life, Trump explained, "I am a lover, not a fighter. You have been reading about that for years." The first part of the speech is below; you can click over to YouTube for part 2 and part 3.
- First Broken Campaign Promise Trump announced that his post-Apprentice announcement will be a "surprise," the Times' Michael D. Shear reports. “When the show is over, I will be free to announce... I think you will be surprised at a number of things, but I think you will be surprised at what my announcement is.” This is patently false; Trump is unable to surprise anyone anymore.
- Fortunate Son Trump batted away questions about how he avoided being drafted into the Vietnam war by saying, "I got lucky...I had a very high draft number… I was going to the Wharton School of Finance... they never got up to that number, so in a certain way, I got very lucky." In reality, he had a very different kind of luck: being born into a rich family. Trump actually got five deferments, The Smoking Gun reports, after examining Trump's Selective Service records. He actually got his first two student deferments while at Fordham University, not Wharton. He was briefly reclassified as "available for military service" before getting a third student deferment at the University of Pennsylvania, then a fourth a few months before he graduated from college. Finally, after being reclassified as available for military service a couple months after graduation, Trump got a medical deferment--deeming him available for warfighting "only in a time of national emergency"--in October 1968. The documents don't disclose what medical condition prevented Trump from serving, but his draft card does note that he has birthmarks on both his heels.
Records of Trump's deferments:
His draft card:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.