Pete Buttigieg: 'No Question' Donald Trump Faked Disability to Avoid Military Service — 'Assault on the Honor of This Country'

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks to reporters outside the US Supreme Court as pro-choice activist rally in Washington, DC, on May 21, 2019. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg criticized President Donald Trump Sunday for using his "privileged status" to avoid military service, his pledge to review the cases of soldiers convicted of war crimes and for turning Washington into a "continuing horror show."

Appearing on ABC's This Week Sunday, Buttigieg — the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who also served in Afghanistan as an officer with the U.S. Navy Reserve — told reporter Martha Raddatz he had no doubt that Trump's 1968 medical deferment for bone spurs in his heels was faked.

"There is no question, I think, to any reasonable observer that the president found a way to falsify a disabled status, taking advantage of his privileged status in order to avoid serving," claimed Buttigieg.

He continued: "You have somebody who thinks it's alright to let somebody go in his place into a deadly war, and is willing to pretend to be disabled in order to do it. That is an assault on the honor of this country"

The 37-year-old Democrat's comments came only days after he responded similarly to questions from the Washington Post's Robert Costa about Trump's deferment.

"This is somebody who, I think it's fairly obvious to most of us, took advantage of the fact that he was a child of a multimillionaire in order to pretend to be disabled, so that somebody could go to war in his place," Buttigieg said Thursday.

Pete Buttigieg on President Trump: "You have somebody who thinks it's alright to let somebody go in his place into a deadly war, and is willing to pretend to be disabled in order to do it. That is an assault on the honor of this country"

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 26, 2019

In the Sunday interview with This Week, Buttigieg also addressed recent comments by Trump about possibly intervening in the cases of U.S. military service members accused of war crimes.

"We teach them how to be great fighters, and then when they fight sometimes they get really treated very unfairly. So we're going to take a look at it," Trump told reporters Friday, adding, "It's very possible that I'll let the trials go on and I'll make my decision after."

Buttigieg told Raddatz he disagreed with the president's assessment of alleged war criminals.

"The idea that being sent to war turns you into a murderer is exactly the kind of thing that those of us who have served have been trying to beat back for more than a generation," he explained. "For a president, especially a president who never served, to say he's going to come in and say he's going to overrule that system of military justice undermines the very foundations, legal and moral, of this country."

Added the mayor: "Frankly, his idea that being sent to fight makes you automatically into a war criminal is a slander against veterans that could only come from somebody who never served."

Regarding the current situation at the White House, Buttigieg described it as a "continuing horror show."

"You have a president who has turned the entire thing into a reality show," he told Raddatz. "We've got to completely change the channel and make sure we respond to all of the distractions and the nonsense coming out of the White House, not just by calling him to account but by returning consistently to the question of how American lives are shaped by those decisions."

Buttigieg admitted that Trump had figured out a way to make this reality show work to his advantage.

"He provokes us in ways that make it very hard for us to do anything but respond in kind — the nicknames, the tweets, the insults — and what we've gotta remember is the more we're talking about him, the less we're talking about voters."