Following Trump's 2017 decision to bar transgender men and women from the military, many critics found the move not only discriminatory but immensely shameful, given the doctor's note—for a "minor" and "temporary" injury—the president used to dodge his Vietnam War draft nearly half a century earlier. Trump was granted 1-Y medical deferment for bone spurs he allegedly had in his heel, and up until now, the medical source of the exemption as well as the nature of the diagnosis have remained unknown.
New information has shed some light on what documentation allowed for Trump's deferment. The daughters of Dr. Larry Braunstein, a Queens-based foot doctor and the man responsible for signing off on Trump's medical diagnosis 50 years ago, have told The New York Times that their father did it purely as a favor to Donald's late father, Fred C. Trump.
Larry Braunstein died in 2007, but his daughters Elysa and Sharon remember their father often telling the story of aiding Mr. Trump during Donald's time of need. “I know it was a favor,” said the eldest daughter Elysa. She went on to explain that according to her father, Donald did not have a foot ailment that would have ordinarily pardoned him from service. “But did he examine him? I don’t know,” she noted.
Braunstein rented his ground-floor office space in Jamaica, Queens from Fred Trump. “What he got was access to Fred Trump,” Elysa Braunstein said. “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.”
Donald was asked about his exemption from service while on the campaign trail in 2016. He told reporters that a podiatrist, who he had conveniently forgotten the name of, had written him “a very strong letter” about the bone spurs in his heels. He then presented said letter to military officials, which subsequently earned him his medical deferment.
When asked about the source of his disqualifying diagnosis, Trump said he did not recall given the amount of time that had passed since. "You are talking a lot of years," he said. When it comes to war, and specifically life or death, it doesn't seem like the type of information you would just forget.