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Trump Jokes That He 'Always Wanted' a Purple Heart

Andrew Rafferty and Katy Tur
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a Purple Heart, given to him by veteran Louis Dorfman, during a campaign event at Briar Woods High School August 2, 2016 in Ashburn, Virginia
Alex Wong | Getty Images

Donald Trump joked Tuesday that he "always wanted" a Purple Heart and it was "much easier" to receive one from a supporter than earn the military decoration given to wounded and killed service members.

The seemingly light-hearted comments come amid Trump's ongoing controversy with Gold Star families and new reports detailing his own draft deferments.

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"You know something very nice just happened to me. A man came up to me and he handed me his Purple Heart," Trump said during an event in Virginia.

"He said, 'that's my real Purple Heart I have such confidence in you.' And I said, 'Man that's like big stuff. I've always wanted to get the real Purple Heart.' This was much easier," he added before inviting the veteran on stage.

The man, however, told NBC News before the rally that it was actually a copy of his Purple Heart.

The GOP presidential nominee's comments come amid media reports that he received five draft deferments despite a seemingly unblemished health record.Trump was also criticized on Monday by members of Gold Star families, a designation given to the relatives of killed during military service.

Speaking simultaneously at the White House, Obama issued his strongest rebuke yet of Trump, calling him "unfit" and "woefully unprepared" to be president.