CNN’s Cuomo Blames Trump for Dysfunctional VA, Done Nothing for Vets

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been a dysfunctional mess for decades and thus taking place over multiple presidencies. The latest example of the VA’s dysfunction has been an apparent “computer glitch” that resulted in veterans not receiving their G.I. Bill benefits. But facts be damned (like most nights) to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday night’s Prime Time as he blamed all the VA’s problems directly on President Trump.

Cuomo was irritated that Trump attended an event for veterans this week and told the group of Marines that he had “done a lot” for the military and veterans. “Insult to injury. That's what you just saw. Trump telling all those Marines and the world he's done so much for our troops. Giving himself a nice pat on the back and his administration,” he angrily spat.

“At the same time that he was saying that VA officials were fumbling and stumbling to explain the G.I. Bill benefits crisis that is ongoing right now on Trump's watch,” Cuomo continued to shout.

The bitter CNN host decried how the promise to our veterans was broken by Trump. “If he's done so much, why the G.I. Bill mess? Why the VA mess? Why no real help for suicide and mental health treatment as was promised,” Cuomo ranted.

The other transgression Trump committed against veterans, according to the raging CNN host, involved the President supposedly intentionally blocking the change of the VA’s motto:

 

 

Why won't Trump even okay the change of the V.A. Motto? Did you hear about this? It's an Abraham Lincoln quote and it's a beautiful one. The motto is "To care for him who shall have borne the battle for his widow and his orphan." It made sense then but not now. Women are warriors. Not only widows. And there's a real pressure for parity. And they've been asking for this motto change for a long time, and the word is that it's reached the secretary level and the President isn't moving on it. Why?

The obvious insinuation by Cuomo was that it was Trump’s backwards view of women that was keeping him from changing the motto.

If people have wanted the motto changed for a long time like Cuomo suggested, then why didn’t the Obama administration change it? Where was Cuomo’s righteous indignation then? Where was his outrage when Obama’s VA spent $18 million on art and paid $142 million in bonuses? And given all the VA’s problems, why is changing the motto a priority at all right now?

Cuomo had an answer: “And the reason that they may sound to you as new, is because people like me haven't covered them enough.” At least he was being honest. He basically admitted that the reason they were covering the VA’s problems so intently now was because Trump was in office.

Cuomo also declared that the “truth” was that “Trump has not done so much” for veterans. You could see the rhetorical smoke rising from Cuomo’s pants from that lie.

During Trump’s first year in office, he put the screws to the VA as his administration forced out incompetent officials. In April of 2017, the Trump administration fired the director of an atrocious Louisiana VA hospital. Then in June of that year, Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act into law. The administration had also put in measures to crack down on dangerous VA facilities.

That is the truth. Cuomo is a liar. This is CNN.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time
November 15, 2018
9:56 p.m. Eastern

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Military families are the backbone of our nation. So, in addition to everything else, as you see, I did the promotion of military spouse hiring across the federal government. The fact is, I've done a lot. [ Applause ] Good-bye, everybody. Good-bye, everybody.

[Cuts to live]

CHRIS CUOMO: Insult to injury. That's what you just saw. Trump telling all those Marines and the world he's done so much for our troops. Giving himself a nice pat on the back and his administration. At the same time that he was saying that VA officials were fumbling and stumbling to explain the G.I. Bill benefits crisis that is ongoing right now on Trump's watch. The Washington Post reports the number of veterans that could be affected is reaching 450,000. Our fighting men and women who have been denied G.I. Bill payments for weeks or months. We made a promise. That promise has not been kept. They're not getting money for school. And for many it's even worse. They're not getting money for housing. And there's nowhere to turn for them when collections come.

And the V.A., it's been a series of busy signals and dead ends. And today those people got called to the carpet. And you saw outrage from the left and right in the Veterans Affairs Committee in the House. United in condemn. But don't be so impressed. You know why? Those folks, those lawmakers left and right, they were told months ago that this was happening, and they did nothing.

And then again, the president [pats himself on the back] in the midst of all of it. Don't forget why he was there. He was supposed to make up for passing on a trip to Arlington Cemetery, after passing on a major commemorative armistice event for World War I veterans in France. All about Veterans Day. Then he says this and he ignores such a painful reality.

If he's done so much, why the G.I. Bill mess? Why the VA mess? Why no real help for suicide and mental health treatment as was promised? Why these mystery pals of his from Mar-a-Lago reportedly calling shots at the VA with no oversight? Nobody chose them.

Why won't Trump even okay the change of the V.A. Motto? Did you hear about this? It's an Abraham Lincoln quote and it's a beautiful one. The motto is "To care for him who shall have borne the battle for his widow and his orphan." It made sense then but not now. Women are warriors. Not only widows. And there's a real pressure for parity. And they've been asking for this motto change for a long time, and the word is that it's reached the secretary level and the President isn't moving on it. Why?

So, Trump has not done so much. If he wants to retire, fine. But he's going to be doing it in recognition of the fact he hasn't gotten it done, not because he's done enough. These problems are not all new, but they are all happening right now on his watch and he promised to do better than anyone else ever has and he's falling short. That's the truth.

And the reason that they may sound to you as new, is because people like me haven't covered them enough. And as I told you on Veterans Day, we will do better, and this is just one piece. There are more to follow. Let's get after it.

NBDaily Government Agencies Double Standards Military Cable Television CNN Cuomo PrimeTime Video Veterans Administration Veterans Affairs Chris Cuomo Donald Trump

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