Tags: Steve Malzberg Show | Ryan Zinke | Robert McDonald | VA

Rep. Ryan Zinke to Newsmax: VA Chief's Apology Fine — Now He Must Fix Agency

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 03:09 PM

Rep. Ryan Zinke told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV Tuesday that he forgives Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald for falsely claiming he served in the military's special forces.

But Zinke, a Montana Republican and former Navy SEAL Team Six member, added that McDonald must now put his nose to the grindstone and fix the scandal-scarred VA on the double.

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"He's a West Point grad, he did go to ranger school … but was not assigned to Special Forces. I'll take his apology, but the longer concern is the VA is not fixed," Zinke said.

"[His predecessor] Gen. Ken Shinseki … has a great deal of care for the veterans and he couldn't fix it.

"A new guy comes in, says he's going to fire 1,000 and I'd like to know how many of those 1,000 people he fired, but I don't think the VA is anywhere close to being fixed and that's the problem."

McDonald made his bogus claim last month as he spoke to a homeless veteran during a segment that aired on "CBS Evening News."

"I incorrectly stated that I had been in special forces. That was inaccurate and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement," McDonald said Monday. The White House said "we take him at his word."

President Barack Obama appointed McDonald, the onetime CEO of Proctor & Gamble, to take over the VA last year after an investigation revealed that 35 veterans had died while waiting for care in a VA facility in Phoenix.

Zinke also told Steve Malzberg he hopes House Speaker John Boehner will not bend in a fight with Democrats over the president's immigration policy which may force a partial Homeland Security shutdown.

Last year, Obama used executive action to help stop millions of illegal immigrants from being deported. The House last week attached provisions to the Homeland Security funding in a bid to block spending on immigration.

"I'm hoping we're unified in a caucus because it is the Constitution. I don't know how to express that more strongly," Zinke said.

"The president 22 times did not have the authority to do what I call an unconstitutional action … To a degree, this is not about immigration, this is about the Constitution itself and there are some things that are not negotiable … I'm not going to blink."

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Rep. Ryan Zinke told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV Tuesday that he forgives Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald for falsely claiming he served in the military's special forces.
Ryan Zinke, Robert McDonald, VA
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2015-09-24
Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 03:09 PM
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