President Donald J. Trump said on Twitter on September 30 that Senator Richard Blumenthal “was never in Vietnam” and was guilty of “fraudulent service”,
Here is his tweet:
Senator Richard Blumenthal must talk about his fraudulent service in Vietnam, where for 12 years he told the people of Connecticut, as their Attorney General, that he was a great Marine War Hero. Talked about his many battles of near death, but was never in Vietnam. Total Phony!
According to a New York Times investigation in 2010, Blumenthal spoke to a group of veterans in 2008 as if he had served in Vietnam.
““We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” he said. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”
However, according to records obtained by The Times, Blumenthal obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 “and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war.”
“When we returned, we saw nothing like this,” the senator also said at a Connecticut rally in support of troops in 2003.
When he enlisted in 1970, Blumenthal was in the Marine Reserves and engaged in drills in Washington and local projects like campground repairs.
Claim: Senator Richard Blumenthal claimed that he served in Vietnam and “many battles of near death but was never in Vietnam.”
We rate this as partially true but misleading. There is no evidence that Blumenthal ever claimed to have participated in specific battles.
Blumenthal has since apologised for any past misleading statements. (CBS)
“On a few occasions I have misspoken about my service and I regret that, and I will take full responsibility. But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to this country.”
Medal of Honor Winners have protested:
Valor is too uncommon a commodity, and too precious a virtue, to be stolen by those who have not paid the high price for freedom. We recognize that some concerns over any appointee, especially the Supreme Court, are honest and legitimate.
You, sir, are neither. If you ever had a sense of duty, if ever you respected the service and sacrifice of others, then please recognize your duty now:
Sen. Blumenthal, “take your seat”!
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins, U.S. Army, Auburn, Ala.
Retired Col. Don “Doc” Ballard, U.S. Army, Grain Valley, Mo.
Retired Maj. Gen. Pat Brady, U.S. Army, New Braunfels, Texas
Retired Col. Bruce Crandall, U.S. Army, Manchester, Wash.
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Sammy Davis, U.S. Army, Freedom, Ind.
Retired Col. Wesley Fox, U.S. Marine Corps, Peoria, Ill.
Retired Col. Harold Fritz, U.S. Army, Peoria, Ill.
Retired Maj. Gen. Jim Livingston, U.S. Marine Corps, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bob Patterson, U.S. Army, Pace, Fla.
Retired Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Stumpf, U.S. Army, Tomah, Wis.
Retired Maj. James Taylor, U.S. Army, Trinity Center, Calif.
Retired Lt. Mike Thornton, U.S. Navy, Dallas
Retired Col. Leo Thorsness, U.S. Air Force, St. Augustine, Fla.
Retired Col. Jay Vargas, U.S. Marine Corps, San Diego
The signatories are all Vietnam-era Medal of Honor recipients. Their Medal citations can be read at www.cmohs.org.
Dear Sen. Richard Blumenthal, You recently called upon your Senate colleagues to subject Judge Neil Gorsuch’s record to “extreme vetting,” questioning both his qualification and biography. The Senate certainly has the right and obligation to closely review any nominee for the United States Supreme Court.