After spending the past few days obsessing over a Florida Democratic Congresswoman’s claims that President Trump “disrespected” a fallen soldier in a phone call to his widow,The View hosts were still not done blaming Trump for the allegations on Thursday’s show. But in today’s episode, the hosts added fuel to the fire, falsely accusing Trump of doing nothing for reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Newly hired co-host Meghan McCain spent the week urging both sides to stop politicizing the soldier’s death, but became more forceful in today’s episode during an argument with co-host Joy Behar. McCain blasted the panel for “missing the point” and told Behar she “would like to stay away from the anger towards Trump” and focus on how to help veterans instead.
That’s when the hosts collectively claimed Trump hadn’t done anything for making life better for veterans, such as reforming the VA, an easily disproved claim if they had done any bit of research.
But they began the show by discussing Trump’s promise to send a check to one soldier’s family for $25,000.
Whoopi acknowledged that President Obama had made a similar obligation to a slain American captive’s family, that had “fallen by the wayside.” Eventually, Obama did pay after being reminded. But Joy Behar wasn’t satisfied with the comparison to Obama and used the opportunity to bash Trump for his lack of “philanthropy:”
“[H]e hasn't made a single cash donation to any charity in the past five years. Right before the inauguration I believe it was he had to pay $25 million in damages for the fraud at Trump University. When he's forced to pay, he has to come up with the cash, if it's voluntary the check is in the mail,” she snarked.
McCain jumped in to call out the politicizing going on, “on both sides,” to which the rest of the panel tried to steer her back to blaming Trump:
I think that point Whoopi was making earlier the same thing happened to President Obama it's possible it came by the wayside. I'm having a really hard time with this it's so deeply politicizing military service on both sides. I still stand by what I said yesterday.
She added, “I wish we could talk about reforming the VA. The VA is such a mess. It's a dark mark in American history.”
“Don't you think that has to come from the top?” Whoopi posed, before apologizing for interrupting.
McCain responded that she understood every host there had a “deep love and respect for the military” despite their political differences, saying that the message should be centered on the fact that these people have “given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms” instead of pointing fingers.
After Behar mocked Trump for being a “liar,” McCain used that opportunity to criticize the Democratic congresswoman, who was on the show the day before, for lying about her record on supporting the troops. But hosts Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin dismissed this, urging any politicizing was still Trump’s fault because he was president:
MCCAIN: Give me a moment. Yesterday Congresswoman Frederica Wilson who was on yesterday was saying that her voting record was amazing towards supporting the troops. It actually came out --
BEHAR: The Congresswoman.
MCCAIN: Yes. That it wasn't as supportive. She opposed a bill that could have insured families of soldiers slain in Afghanistan received death and burial benefits during a government shutdown. I don't like the politicizing on either side, anyway, of slain soldiers!
BEHAR: When you asked her that yesterday, she said it was politicized, she said it was personal because she knew that fallen soldier from when he was a little boy. She knows the family so it was personal for her. It wasn’t just political.
McCain then lamented the politicizing on both sides, again:
“The politicizing on both sides, this president loves the troops more, this party loves the troops more, that’s not what America is,” she said.
“I don't know how it can't be political,” Hostin responded.
“Once you make it political -- which is what he did. He made it political. He's made it about something totally different than what this is,” Whoopi stated, referencing Monday’s press conference where Trump brought up President Obama.
“That's how he made it political,” Hostin agreed, adding, “At that moment he made it a political story. That's why I think -- if there's any anger about politicizing it it's needs to be directed at the current administration.”
After commercial break, McCain got in an argument with Joy Behar over who was to blame for the problems at the VA. Frustrated with the Trump-centric bashing, she urged Behar to cool off from the “anger towards Trump” and focus on the real problems:
MCCAIN: It's not like I'm unaware what all of you are saying about it being politicized. I was affected on the other side by the conversation as we've gone and talked about at length at this point --
HOSTIN: The president politicized General Kelly's son's death as well!
MCCAIN: But we're also missing the main point. We have soldiers dying waiting for health care at the VA. There are so many issues. PTSD is a problem with millennial veterans.
BEHAR: Talk to Trump!
MCCAIN: That's what I would like to use this moment to talk about, Joy, ok?
BEHAR: I agree but you need to talk to him
[talking over eachother]
MCCAIN: I would like to stay away from the anger towards Trump, ok? I understand what he did right now I'm having a hard time with it, like I told you. It's very hard for me. I would like to talk about what our veterans need in this country. That's what I wish President Trump would do with this moment. Say,” You know what? I messed up. This is getting totally out of control. Let’s talk about the real issues for the people that are fighting.” La David died for us to be sitting here. We’re getting too far away from it. If the president can't do it I'll do it here right now. If we politicize this too much we are not going to be in a place in America that I think any of us, ideologically, collectively want to be.
HOSTIN: He can't do it. He's the president. He can't do it [ cheers and applause ]
BEHAR: He has the power to do these things and he doesn’t. All he does is distract.
HAINES: I see Meghan's point.
HOSTIN: It's a great point.
BEHAR: It would be nice.
At this point, Sara Haines took up McCain’s point about the VA and claimed that Trump hadn’t done anything to reform that department, which is categorically false. In June and in August Trump signed VA reform bills, designed to streamline the process, ensure veterans get their benefits in a timely fashion, and allow for more accountability for employees’ behavior. But Haines claim didn’t receive any pushback or fact-checks from the fellow hosts or The View’s producers:
HAINES: But we can't expect things he doesn't show he can do. He can't do this. He's not leading, he’s not guiding. We have to go to the lesser level politicians and say we want movement on VA things. I see what you’re saying--channel it to people that aren't President Trump. We can't expect him to start doing things he’s never done.
MCCAIN: We talk about this show being a platform which it is for all of us to speak, so let's use this platform. Because if people in D.C aren't going to talk about it we might as well take the reins and do it right here.
BEHAR: That's what we do.