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Did President Donald Trump once ask Americans if they "really" wanted a president who was dumb enough to get drafted?
No, he didn’t.
A Facebook post with an image of Trump smiling is false because it includes the following made-up quote:
"‘Sure, I got deferments. Would you really want a president who was dumb enough to let himself get drafted? I meant, 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.’ - Donald J. Trump Meet the Press, Aug. 28th, 2015."
Additional text along the bottom of the post says: "Yes, he really said this. Remember it next time he claims to ‘love the troops.’ If you support Trump, you don’t support the American military."
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
We couldn’t find any evidence that Trump said this on Meet the Press in 2015, or at any other time.
While the post says Trump made the statement on the show on Aug. 28, 2015, Meet the Press airs on Sunday mornings, and did not air on that date, which was a Friday.
Trump appeared on the show a couple of weeks earlier, on Aug. 16, 2015, but a transcript of the interview does not contain anything about the draft or deferments.
Then, on Aug. 28, 2016, (not 2015) Trump gave another interview on the show but, again, the transcript reveals no conversation about him avoiding the draft during the Vietnam War.
The only place we found the quote was in a satirical Yahoo! News column that ran Aug. 4, 2016, and was written by national political columnist Matt Bai. The story’s headline: "Is there anything Trump could say to make his party cut and run?" The article also says the statement comes from "Meet the Press, Aug. 28," but a year is not listed.
While the article doesn’t include a satire or parody disclaimer, it contains a subhead that says the piece’s content was published by "Yahoo University Press in 2022" and lists several other outlandish quotes from Republican politicians that don’t appear to be real. Bai also confirmed to PolitiFact that the piece was intended to be satire and that the quote is not real.
There is no evidence that Trump actually said this and the only iteration we could find was in a satirical column. We rate it Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, Jan. 13, 2020
NBC News, List of Meet the Press transcripts, Accessed Jan. 16, 2020
NBC News, Meet the Press transcript, Aug. 16, 2015
NBC News, Meet the Press transcript, Aug. 28, 2016
Yahoo! News, Is there anything Trump could say to make his party cut and run?, Aug. 6, 2016
Email interview, Matt Bai, Jan. 17, 2020
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