Donald Trump appeared on ‘Imus In The Morning’ Wednesday and said that he doesn’t regret calling Sen. John McCain, who was captured and held prisoner during the Vietnam War, “not a war hero.”
John McCain spent 5 1/2 years in captivity during the Vietnam War, while Trump avoided the military altogether by receiving a series of deferments.
“He was a war hero because he was captured,” Trump told host Frank Luntz during the 2015 Family Leadership Summit. “I like people who weren’t captured.”
Trump has no regrets about mocking McCain for being a POW.
Host Don Imus asked Trump if he would apologize to veterans, as McCain has recently requested, Buzzfeed reports.
“Well I’ve actually done that, Don,” Trump replied. “You know frankly, I like John McCain, and John McCain is a hero. Also, heroes are people that are, you know, whether they get caught or don’t get caught — they’re all heroes as far as I’m concerned. And that’s the way it should be.”
“So do you regret saying that?” Imus asked the presumptive GOP nominee.
“I don’t, you know — I like not to regret anything,” Trump said. “You do things and you say things. And what I said, frankly, is what I said. And some people like what I said, if you want to know the truth.”
“There are many people that like what I said. You know after I said that, my poll numbers went up seven points,” Trump continued.
“You understand that, I mean, some people liked what I said,” Trump said again. “I like John McCain, in my eyes John McCain is a hero. John McCain’s a good guy.”
Imus went on to note that someone like Trump, who was afforded multiple Vietnam War draft deferments, shouldn’t be criticizing someone like McCain.
“I understand that. Well, I was going to college, I had student deferments. I also got a great lottery number,” Trump said.
Audio courtesy of Buzzfeed:
1,350 Americans were listed as prisoners of war or missing in action during that time. McCain was tortured during his time in captivity while Trump went to college, then later in life, the hotel magnate went on to mock him.
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