Twitter users are being made aware of Donald Trump’s lack of military service after a computer-generated image of the former president in full army gear was posted on the social media site.

Brigitte Gabriel, a Trump supporter and the founder of the anti-Muslim group ACT for America, posted the AI-generated image of the former president in green camouflage while holding an assault weapon on Monday night.

“President Trump is defending America in ways Biden will never comprehend,” Gabriel tweeted.

While Gabriel may not have been suggesting the image of Trump in army attire was genuine, the post was still flagged by Twitter’s Community Notes service, which aims to “collaboratively add context to potentially misleading Tweets” by including additional information from users below tweets.

trump bone spurs
Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Aberdeen Airport on May 1, 2023, in Aberdeen, Scotland. A Twitter community note is reminding its users that Trump never served in the military.
Getty Images/Jeff J Mitchell

Once a note is suggested by a contributor, it will be posted beneath the tweet if enough contributors from different points of view rate that note as helpful.

In this case, the approved note stated that the image of Trump is AI-generated and that “Donald Trump has never served in the military. He avoided the Vietnam War draft through a podiatry claim.”

The note included a link to a 2018 article in The New York Times that examined claims that a doctor diagnosed Trump with bone spurs in his heels in 1968 as a “favor” to the former president’s father, Fred Trump, so Trump would not be called up to serve in the conflict.

This part of the note was temporarily removed and re-added later. Twitter’s guidelines state that a Community Note will not be labeled, removed, or addressed by Twitter unless it is found to be violating its rules, terms of service, or our privacy policy or flagged by a fellow Twitter user.

It is unclear why the second part of the note regarding Trump’s “podiatry claim” was removed from the note initially. Twitter has been contacted for comment via email.

The 2018 article in the NYT features allegations from two daughters of a New York podiatrist Larry Braunstein, who died in 2007. They claimed that the doctor diagnosed Trump with bone spurs as a favor to Fred Trump, from whom Braunstein rented a ground floor office in a New York building.

“I know it was a favor,” Elysa Braunstein told the newspaper. “What he got was access to Fred Trump. If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and Trump would take care of it immediately. That was the small favor that he got.

“It was family lore,” Elysa Braunstein added. “It was something we would always discuss.”

Trump received four deferments from being drafted into Vietnam while he was a college student and a fifth after getting a bone spurs diagnosis in 1968 once he graduated.

In a 2016 interview, Trump told The Times that a doctor wrote him a letter for the draft board about his bone spurs—which he described as “temporary” and “minor”—but he could not recall the doctor’s name.


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