Trump joked that he wanted to give himself a Medal of Honor at veterans event

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Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Trump jokingly told a group of veterans Wednesday that he wanted to award himself a Medal of Honor, but said his aides convinced him otherwise. Mr. Trump made the remarks at the 75th annual convention for American Veterans (AMVETS), a volunteer-led organization formed by veterans.

The president also praised World War II hero Hershel “Woody” Williams, who was present at the event. The retired Marine is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient to have fought in the pivotal Battle of Iwo Jima. “You are looking good, Woody,” Mr. Trump said. “Woody is looking good.”

“Nothing like the Medal of Honor. I wanted one, but they told me I don’t qualify. I say, ‘Can I give it to myself anyway?’ They said, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea,'” he said to laughs.

“Great, great people,” he added. “These are great, great men and women that get the congressional Medal of Honor.”

Mr. Trump never served in the military because he received medical deferment for bone spurs on both of his feet and had a high lottery draft number during the Vietnam War –– a frequent point of criticism from foes. He told Piers Morgan in June that he was “never a fan” of the Vietnam War but said he wouldn’t have minded serving.

“I would not have minded that at all. I would’ve been honored, but I think I make up for it right now,” Mr. Trump said.

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