Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said Monday that he doesn't consider President Donald Trump to be a "draft dodger" but criticized the system that allowed "certain Americans" not to serve during the Vietnam War.
McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee who has been a frequent critic of Trump's, was shot down and held prisoner by North Vietnamese forces for five-and-a-half years. During his imprisonment, he was tortured and is unable to lift his arms above his head as a result.
Trump received a medical deferment from having to serve because of diagnosed bone spurs in his heels and four other deferments for education.
"Do you consider [Trump] a draft dodger?" host Sunny Hostin asked.
"I don't consider him so much a draft dodger as I feel that the system was so wrong that certain Americans could evade their responsibilities to serve the country," McCain said.
McCain said one of the "great inequities" of the Vietnam War was low-income Americans were drafted while richer Americans found doctors to give them medical excuses to avoid service, calling it "disgraceful."
Trump said in 2015 that McCain was only considered a war hero because he was "captured," saying he preferred people not be captured.
Host Joy Behar asked McCain if he found it "galling" when he criticized his service, but McCain didn't answer and said the important thing was for people to help veterans who need it.
"I'm the luckiest person you will ever see on this show," he said.
McCain did criticize those who got "bone spur" diagnoses from doctors during the Vietnam War during an interview that aired on Sunday, but he did not mention Trump by name.