FACT CHECK: DID TRUMP SAY, ‘WOULD YOU REALLY WANT A PRESIDENT WHO WAS DUMB ENOUGH TO LET HIMSELF GET DRAFTED’?
An image shared on Facebook claimed that President Donald Trump said, “Would you really want a president who was dumb enough to let himself get drafted?”
There is no record of Trump ever saying this. It appears to have originated with a satirical article.
While much has been said about Trump and the fact that he did not serve in the Vietnam War – he received four deferments for college and one for bone spurs – there is no indication that the quote attributed to him is legitimate.
The full text reads, “Sure, I got deferments. But — excuse me, Chuck, let me finish. Would you really want a president who was dumb enough to let himself get drafted? I mean, it wasn’t hard to get out of it, believe me. My doctor said I had a bump on my heel or something. I don’t know. I don’t even think he was a doctor, frankly. The government is just very, very stupid. OK? Which is why only I can fix it.”
The meme claims that Trump said it on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Aug. 28, 2015, so a couple months after announcing his candidacy for president. The show did not air that day, but Trump did appear on “Meet the Press” almost two weeks earlier. The Vietnam War did not come up.
The quote appears to have originated in an August 2016 piece by Yahoo News columnist Matt Bai titled, “Is there anything Trump could say to make his party cut and run?”
While the article is not labeled as satire, it contains many clearly satirical quotes attributed to Republican leaders. For example, it quotes former House Speaker Paul Ryan explaining why he can’t take back his endorsement of Trump. “There’s no backsies,” it fictitiously quotes him as saying. “I put the sticker on my car already. It’s not one of those magnet deals. It’s really on there. I’d have to repaint the entire bumper.”
The article claims to be an “excerpt” from a 2022 book published by Yahoo University Press, which obviously does not exist.