WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26:  After answering questions from reporters, Sen. John McCain departs the U.S. Capitol for a briefing on North Korea at the White House April 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. Members of U.S. President Donald Trump's national security team held a briefing on North Korea at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26: After answering questions from reporters, Sen. John McCain departs the U.S. Capitol for a briefing on North Korea at the White House April 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. Members of U.S. President Donald Trump's national security team held a briefing on North Korea at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 1: Cindy McCain looks on as a joint military service casket team carries the casket of the late Senator John McCain following his funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral, September 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush delivered eulogies for McCain in front of the 2,500 invited guests. McCain will be buried on Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. will brief the media on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. EDT, in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973).  DAILY SCHEDULE: Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. brief the media at 10 a.m. EDT in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973). Both U.S. and foreign journalists without a Pentagon building pass must be pre-registered in the new Pentagon Visitor Management System to attend this briefing; plan on being escorted from the River Entrance Pedestrian Bridge or the Pentagon Metro Entrance Facility only. Please arrive no later than 45 minutes before the briefing; have proof of affiliation and photo identification. Please call 703-697-5131 for any questions and escort into the building. The briefing will also be streamed live on www.defense.gov/live.  Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis hosts an enhanced honor cordon welcoming Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu of Indonesia, to the Pentagon at 2:30 p.m. EDT on the steps of the River Entrance. All journalists desiring to cover the cordon must obtain a wristband from security screening. Journalists without a Pentagon facility access card must go through security screening at the base of the River Entrance Pedestrian Bridge, and will be escorted to the cordon from there. Security screening will begin at approximately 1:45 p.m. EDT; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification. Journalists with a Pentagon facility access card, and whom have entered the building prior to 1:30 p.m. EDT, may go through security screening at the River Entrance to obtain their wristband. All journalists wishing to cover the honor cordon, including those with a Pentagon facility access card, must be in place no later than 2:15 p.m. EDT. Once security screening has been initiated at the base of the bridge, all journalists entering the building via the bridge for any reason, including those with a Pen
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Story highlights

John McCain spent five years as a prisoner of war during the war

Donald Trump received five military draft deferments during the Vietnam War

(CNN) —  

Sen. John McCain, in an interview about the Vietnam War, appeared to take a swipe at President Donald Trump when he criticized people from “the highest income level” who avoided the draft by finding a doctor who “would say that they had a bone spur.”

Trump, who attended the private New York Military Academy as a young man, received five military draft deferments during the Vietnam War, including one medical deferment after he was diagnosed with bone spurs in his foot.

McCain and Trump have feuded since the businessman-turned-president used an early event in his 2016 campaign to derided the Arizona Republican’s military service, claiming he was not a war hero because he was captured during the Vietnam War. Trump refused to apologize and their feud has carried into his administration, where McCain has been one of his most fervent Republican critics on Capitol Hill.

“One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest income level of America and the highest income level found a doctor that would say they had a bone spur,” McCain told C-SPAN3, American History TV, in an interview about the Vietnam War. “That is wrong. That is wrong. If we are going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve.”

McCain never mentions Trump by name in the interview, but the President’s deferment because of a bone spur is widely known and the President’s family was well off at the time.

Trump told The New York Times in 2016 that a doctor “gave me a letter – a very strong letter – on the heels.”

“Over a period of time, it healed up,” he said.

In a 2015 biography, Trump told Michael D’Antonio that the bone spurs were “not a big problem, but it was enough of a problem.”

In the C-SPAN interview, McCain said the lessons learned from Vietnam include that the United States needs to have a “strategy and a capability to win” before getting involved in a conflict.

“It really split our society in a way that we sometimes forget. Mass arrests, demonstrations, Chicago, that all of us can look back and see on C-SPAN,” McCain said. “It was a tumultuous time and most of it was bred by the conflict.”

McCain spent five years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, declining to be released despite being the son of an admiral.