Outrageous VA Secy Jabs Veteran Lawmaker: 'What Have You Done?'
During a combative exchange at a House hearing, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald slipped up when he challenged a veteran congressman by asking, "What have you done?"
McDonald directed the jab at Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), who's actually the only member of Congress to serve in both Iraq wars.
The two were going at it over cost overruns and construction delays at a VA hospital in Denver when the exchange happened.
Coffman took issue with the VA labeling the hospital project as a "success," accusing McDonald of "glossing over the extraordinary problems confronted by your department."
"I've run a large company, sir. What have you done?" said McDonald, the former Procter & Gamble CEO who took over the embattled department last summer following the scandal over inadequate medical care for veterans.
Coffman, an Army veteran, did not respond at the hearing. But the four-term lawmaker said in a statement later that he could tell McDonald a few things he hasn't done.
"I have never run a federal agency that tolerates corruption the way the VA has. I've never built a hospital that's years behind schedule and hundreds of millions over budget. And I've never been a shill for inept bureaucrats who allowed American heroes to die on a medical waiting list," he said.
Pete Hegseth, an Iraq war veteran and CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, responded to the comments this morning on "Fox and Friends."
He said the questions from Coffman were "very legitimate" and called on the secretary to apologize.
"I listen to vets and talk to vets all the time. The culture at the VA has not changed," said Hegseth, adding that Coffman was treated like VA whistleblowers who have been attacked and retaliated against.
Hegseth announced a summit that his organization is holding in Washington in two weeks about bringing choice and accountability to the VA.
He said lawmakers, including Senators John McCain and Marco Rubio, will be attending the event.
It comes after a new report by the GAO labeled the VA health care system as being especially vulnerable to “fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement.”