Credit: WikiMedia Commons, Screen grab
Trump Agrees With Ocasio-Cortez About the VA Being ‘Great’

Trump Agrees With Ocasio-Cortez About the VA Being ‘Great’

“Comrade AOC knows nothing about the VA. Defends system failing vets every single day.”

President Donald Trump broke with many Republicans Wednesday by agreeing with heavily criticized remarks made recently by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., about the efficacy of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

There was, however, a caveat to the president’s assertions.

“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is correct, the VA is not broken, it is doing great,” he tweeted. “But that is only because of the Trump Administration. We got Veterans Choice & Accountability passed.”

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Ocasio-Cortez was lambasted by conservatives on social media Monday after video emerged of the progressive Democrat urging against the reform of the VA health system and calling it “this thing that provides the highest quality care to our veterans.”

“[T]here’s some things that we’re hearing today, there’s some themes we’ve got coming out, and especially when it comes to the VA, all I can think of is that classic refrain that my parents always told me growing up,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a town hall event in New York City last week.

“Which is that, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’”

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have pushed for reforms of a health care system that has been rocked by numerous scandals.

And while some veterans have touted the progress made in fixing the VA since Trump took office, Ocasio-Cortez faced stiff criticism for her town hall comments.

In the fallout of Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks, Fox & Friends weekend co-host and Iraq War veteran Pete Hegseth blasted the progressive lawmaker, averring that the VA continues to fail those it serves.

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“Comrade AOC knows nothing about the VA. Defends system failing vets every single day,” Hegseth said. “Just another hack politician echoing what the government unions want her to say. The ‘woman of the people’ should try VA healthcare. But she won’t, because she’s a fraud.”

Some commenters replied to Trump’s tweet by wondering whether supporters who had slammed Ocasio-Cortez would be as harsh on the president. Some veterans argued that the VA is still experiencing problems, pointing to the suicide deaths outside VA facilities that occurred just this week.

Others decided to avoid the topic at hand, and, depending on their ideological leanings, bashed either Trump or Ocasio-Cortez.

Still, many veterans have praised Trump’s efforts to fulfill his campaign pledge to reform the VA and hold the government responsible for veterans’ healthcare.

In 2017, Trump signed into law a bill that allows VA leadership more autonomy to hold failed employees accountable and protect whistleblowers.

Robert L. Wilkie, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, wrote in a 2018 USA Today op-ed that not “since President Lincoln has another president done more to ‘care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,’ just as our nation deserves.”

The Washington Examiner editorial board wrote earlier this year that Trump’s efforts meant helpful improvements were “on the way at Veterans Affairs,” accusing the Obama administration of having resisted reforms to the agency.

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Cover image: Trump AOC (WikiMedia Commons, Screen grab)

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