Fact Check: Donald Trump's claims about Senator Richard Blumenthal's Vietnam service

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President Donald J. Trump said on Twitter on September 30 that Senator Richard Blumenthal had spoke serving in Vietnam where he talked about “many battles of near death but was never in Vietnam.”

Here is his tweet:

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

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.

In reality, when he eventually enlisted in 1970, Blumenthal got a spot in the Marine Reserves, engaging in Washington drills 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.”

Fact Check: 

We rate this as partially true but misleading. There is no evidence that Blumenthal ever told people about specific battles he was in.

He said that the times he alluded to serving we the results of him “misspeaking.”

Still, the day after the 2010 New York Times article was released, Blumenthal 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.”

 

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