Daughters of late doctor claim father diagnosed Trump with bone spurs to help him dodge draft
The daughters of a New York podiatrist who diagnosed now-President Trump with the bone spurs that exempted him from serving in the Vietnam War say their father may have done so as a favor to Fred Trump, Donald Trump's father, who owned the Queens building that housed the medical practice.
Dr. Elysa Braunstein and Sharon Kessel, the daughters of Dr. Larry Braunstein, who died in 2007, told The New York Times that their father often recounted the story of helping a then-22-year-old Donald Trump dodge the draft in 1968.
"I know it was a favor," Dr. Elysa Braunstein, 56, told the Times.
"What he got was access to Fred Trump," she continued. "If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and (Fred) Trump would take care of it immediately."
Although no paper evidence has been found to corroborate the Braunstein family's story, the sisters also suggested that a second podiatrist, Dr. Manny Weinstein, was also involved in the diagnosis.
Dr. Weinstein, who died in 1995, lived in two Brooklyn apartments owned by Fred Trump, the first of which he moved into the same year Donald Trump received his exemption from military service, The New York Times reports.
The president's mysterious exemption has long been the subject of questioning. Trump himself told the Times during his 2016 campaign that he could not recall who had signed off on his medical documentation.
"I had a doctor that gave me a letter — a very strong letter on the heels," Trump said in the 2016 interview.
Dr. Elysa Braunstein told The New York Times that while her father, a lifelong Democrat who served in the Navy during World War II, was initially proud that he had helped a "famous guy" dodge the draft, he later grew tired of Donald Trump as he became a reality TV star and the subject of celebrity gossip.
Regardless, she said the story was frequently brought up in their household.
"It was family lore," said Dr. Elysa Braunstein. "It was something we would always discuss."