Donald Trump said it was "much easier" to receive the Purple Heart as a gift

By Tierney McAfee
Updated August 02, 2016 07:45 PM
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Credit: Greg E. Mathieson Sr./REX/Shutterstock

Donald Trump was given a Purple Heart from a military veteran on Tuesday – but it was the GOP nominee’s controversial reaction that made headlines and waves on social media.

“I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier,” Trump told supporters at a campaign rally in Ashburn, Virginia.

The comment, which was criticized as disrespectful and “insensitive” by some on Twitter, comes one day after The New York Times reported that Trump received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War, four for education and one for heel spurs.

Trump’s military service – or lack thereof – has come under scrutiny amid his ongoing feud with the Muslim-American, Gold Star parents whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004.

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The veteran who gave Trump his Purple Heart, an award given to service members who are wounded or killed in action, was identified by the GOP nominee’s campaign as Lt. Col. Louis Dorfman. Trump said Dorfman came up on stage at the start of the rally and gave the GOP nominee the medal, telling him it was his real Purple Heart.

But NBC’s Katy Tur said the veteran told her it was a copy.