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Gage Skidmore

Trump to VA Employees: You are Sadistic Thieves

At his Tulsa rally, Trump accused VA employees of being bad people

Brian Young's picture
Jun 23, 2020

On Saturday, Trump held a sparsely attended rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma to relaunch his campaign after months of falling poll numbers. While the campaign expected hundreds of thousands of people, just over 6,000 MAGA fans showed up to listen to Trump ramble on and prove that he could drink a glass of water.

During one of his rambling moments in the nearly two-hour speech, Trump got onto the subject of the Veterans Affairs Department (VA). After bragging about signing the VA Choice bill, a bill that is meant to help privatize the VA, Trump said the following.

And V.A. accountability, we had a lot of bad people in the V.A. People that didn’t love our vets, people that were sadistic, people that stole, a lot of bad people. You couldn’t get rid of them because they were, let’s say it could be unions, it could be civil service, right, let’s say, let’s just say. And so you couldn’t get it done. That was another one for decades and decades, they wanted to get it changed. And I got it done with those people and your Congressman, your Congressman who I’m going to introduce. V.A. accountability, and now somebody treats our veterans badly and we look at them and what do we say? We say, you’re fired, get out, right? Get out.

Trump’s idea of “cleaning up” the VA included kicking VA union officials out of their offices and attempting to unilaterally force VA employees into a contract that violates the agreed-upon collective bargaining agreement.

In response to Trump’s comments the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) responded on Twitter saying:

Trump’s rambling comments came off as unhinged for someone who claims to support the troops. The reality is that hundreds of thousands of VA employees work tirelessly every day to help care for our veterans. These courageous men and women put their lives on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic and continued to come to work even as 1,633 cases were reported among their workforce. They worked without PPE and under the threat of a loss of wages and seniority if they took off to self-quarantine. As of late April, 20 VA employees had died after contracting COVID-19 at work. To Trump they may be sadistic, but we hope that everyone else sees these hardworking men and women as the heroes they really are.

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