The Slatest

Podiatrist’s Daughters Say He Diagnosed Trump’s Bone Spurs as Favor to Fred Trump

A photograph of Fred Trump, the father of US President Donald Trump, is seen in the Oval Office of the White House on February 9, 2017.
A photograph of Fred Trump, the father of US President Donald Trump, is seen in the Oval Office of the White House on February 9, 2017.
SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

It turns out all the rumors and speculation may be true after all and President Donald Trump likely never suffered from bone spurs. Trump famously received a medical exemption from the military during the Vietnam War because he was diagnosed with bone spurs in his heels. But now the daughters of a Queens podiatrist tell the New York Times their late father wrote the diagnosis as a favor to the president’s father, Fred Trump, who was the foot doctor’s landlord. “I know it was a favor,” said Dr. Elysa Braunstein, one of the daughters of Dr. Larry Braunstein, who died in 2007. “It was family lore.” She added that “it was something we would always discuss.” Her sister, Sharon Kessel, also corroborated that account although neither daughter could confirm whether their father had actually examined the president.

There is no documentation to back up the claim, and the daughters openly acknowledge they are Democrats who dislike Trump. The late podiatrist, who was a lifelong Democrat, also apparently wasn’t a big fan of the now-president. Although he once talked about the diagnosis with pride because he had helped a “famous guy,” he later got irritated by Trump’s tabloid persona.

At the time though, it seems Braunstein got a clear benefit from helping his landlord’s son. “What he got was access to Fred Trump,” Elysa Braunstein said. “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.”

The daughters say they believe another podiatrist, Dr. Manny Weinstein, also assisted in the diagnosis although his role is not exactly clear. He did live in two apartments in Brooklyn owned by Fred Trump and moved into the first one the same year that Donald Trump received the exemption. Weinstein died in 1995.