In a 1993 interview on The Howard Stern Show, Donald Trump said those who did not serve in the Vietnam War had their own Vietnam to deal with — dating.
"You know, if you're young, and in this era, and if you have any guilt about not having gone to Vietnam. We have our own Vietnam. It's called the dating game," he said during a discussion of Trump's well-publicized germaphobia and the ongoing AIDs epidemic.
"It's pretty dangerous out there Robin. It's like Vietnam," Trump said earlier in the interview.
"It is, it is," Stern said. "The dating scene is like Vietnam."
"Dating is like being in Vietnam," Trump said. "You're the equivalent of a soldier going over to Vietnam."
Trump himself never served in Vietnam after receiving five draft deferments—four while he was at college and another for bone spurs in his feet. His own campaign said the latter condition was minor and temporary.
While campaigning for president, in December 2015, Trump expressed guilt over not serving in Vietnam and said helping to build a Vietnam War memorial in New York was his way of making up for it.
Trump made similar comments on Stern's show in 1997, saying dating was dangerous because of women with sexually transmitted infections, comparing it, again, to Vietnam.
"I've been so lucky in terms of that whole world," said Trump. "It is a dangerous world out there — it's scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier."
Nathan McDermott is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Nathan McDermott at email@example.com.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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