Retired Lt. Col. Louis Dorfman was "proud" to give Donald Trump his Purple Heart at the Republican presidential nominee's campaign rally on Tuesday, and on Fox News Wednesday rejected criticism that has been aimed at Trump since he accepted it.
"I felt he took it in the manner in which I gave it," Dorfman said Wednesday, describing his brief but "genuine" encounter with Trump before the candidate took the stage in Ashburn, Va. "I was very proud to give him that medal, not just for myself. This isn't about me. This is about all the veterans who are carrying the wounds of these wars that we're in and the past wars."
Trump has come under fire for joking that he received the Purple Heart in an "easy" manner compared to Dorfman, who was wounded in Iraq.
"[He] should have pinned that back to that veteran's chest and should have hugged him and thanked him," Khizr Khan, the father of a fallen Muslim-American soldiers who is currently engaged in a war of words with Trump, told CNN on Wednesday.
In response to Khan and Trump's other critics, Dorfman said "it wasn't like [Trump] was making a statement that he got it easy. That isn't exactly what he meant. He meant it was easier for him to take it from me than all the people who earned that medal."
"I was there and it's been taken out of context," Dorfman added. "They're not showing the before and the after, they're just showing what he said. He had told me backstage how much of an honor it was and he really asked me, 'do you want to give me this or do you want me to give it back to you?'"
Trump invited Dorfman to join him on stage minutes after he began his rally on Tuesday, but the wounded veteran declined to say anything to the crowd.
"On stage he asked me, 'do you want to say a few words?' And I said 'no, I don't want to say anything because you just keep saying what you're saying. I think that would be the best thing,'" Dorfman explained.
Dorfman gave a simple answer when asked why he plans to support Trump November: "I just think he would make a good commander-in-chief. I like what he says. I like his position on many many different [issues]."