Trump’s ‘bone spurs’ di­ag­no­sis was a ‘fa­vor,’ doc­tor’s chil­dren say

The Tribune (SLO) - - Insight - BY KEITH MCMIL­LAN

Daugh­ters of a de­ceased po­di­a­trist say it’s “fam­ily lore” that their fa­ther helped Don­ald Trump, long be­fore he be­came pres­i­dent, avoid be­ing drafted for mil­i­tary ser­vice in Viet­nam, the New York Times re­ported Wed­nes­day.

The daugh­ters of Larry Braun­stein, Elysa Braun­stein and Sharon Kes­sel, told the Times that their fa­ther – as a “fa­vor” – pro­vided the fall 1968 di­ag­no­sis of bone spurs that helped Trump get a med­i­cal ex­emp­tion. In re­turn, the doc­tor re­ceived ac­cess to Fred Trump, Trump’s fa­ther and owner of the Queens build­ing in which Larry Braun­stein’s prac­tice op­er­ated.

“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,” Elysa Braun­stein told the Times, re­fer­ring to the pres­i­dent’s fa­ther.

The Times could not find doc­u­men­ta­tion from the fam­ily, the doc­tor who bought Braun­stein’s prac­tice, or the Na­tional Ar­chives to cor­rob­o­rate the daugh­ters’ rec­ol­lec­tion. The White House did not re­spond to the Times’ re­quests to fol­low up.

Larry Braun­stein died in 2007.

Trump re­ceived four de­fer­ments from the draft while study­ing at Ford­ham and the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, although he’d been found fit for duty dur­ing an ex­am­i­na­tion in 1966, and had been a foot­ball and bas­ket­ball player at New York Mil­i­tary Academy. After grad­u­a­tion, Trump was el­i­gi­ble to be drafted, but as the Wash­ing­ton Post re­ported in 2015:

“Trump’s ex­po­sure to the draft, how­ever, didn’t last long. Two months later, on Sept. 17, 1968, he re­ported for an armed forces phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion and was med­i­cally dis­qual­i­fied, ac­cord­ing to the ledger from his lo­cal Se­lec­tive Ser­vice Sys­tem draft board in Ja­maica, N.Y., now in the cus­tody of the Na­tional Ar­chives.

“The ledger does not de­tail why Trump failed the exam – the Se­lec­tive Ser­vice de­stroyed all med­i­cal records and in­di­vid­ual files after the draft ended in 1973 and the mil­i­tary con­verted to an all-vol­un­teer force.

“In re­cent days, Trump, a Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, and his cam­paign have said that he re­ceived the med­i­cal de­fer­ment be­cause he had bone spurs in his feet. But rather than clear up all ques­tions about why he did not serve in the mil­i­tary dur­ing the Viet­nam era, they have given shift­ing ac­counts that are at odds with the few re­main­ing doc­u­ments in his Se­lec­tive Ser­vice file.

“Trump has given lim­ited in­for­ma­tion about the na­ture of his med­i­cal ail­ment from 1968 that left him clas­si­fied as “1-Y,” or un­qual­i­fied for duty ex­cept in the case of a na­tional emer­gency.”

An­other doc­tor reached by the Times sug­gested that Braun­stein “spoke very highly” of the Trumps be­cause they worked with him on the rent for his of­fice space.

The daugh­ters said their fa­ther was ini­tially proud to have helped some­one fa­mous but later grew tired of Don­ald Trump’s tabloid and re­al­ity-TV an­tics. The doc­tor had been a Demo­crat, and the daugh­ters say they are, as well.


Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump speaks to U.S. troops by video con­fer­ence Tues­day from the Oval Of­fice.

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