Donald Trump, who received draft deferments through much of the Vietnam War, told the author of a forthcoming biography that he nevertheless “always felt that I was in the military” because of his education at a military-themed boarding school.

Trump said that his experience at the New York Military Academy, an expensive prep school where his parents had sent him to correct poor behavior, gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”

That claim may raise eyebrows given that Trump, now a Republican presidential candidate, never served in the military and mocked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a decorated naval aviator, for his yearslong captivity during the Vietnam War.

Trump described his education, business life, marriages and childhood in interviews with Michael D’Antonio, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter at Newsday. D’Antonio’s biography of Trump, “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success,” will be published on Sept. 22.

In the book, Trump emerges as a man largely unchanged from his childhood in the wealthy Queens neighborhood of Jamaica Estates, where an exacting father, Fred Trump, schooled him in the ways of self-promotion and encouraged a lifetime of fighting. The senior Trump, a major real estate developer, counseled his son to “be a killer” and told him, “You are a king.”

Trump’s preoccupation with winning dominated his youth. His mentor at the New York Military Academy, Theodore Dobias, called Trump “a conniver, even then.” Trump, he said, “just wanted to be first, in everything, and he wanted people to know he was first.”

New York Times