Donald Trump’s flair for connecting with veterans won him an overwhelming share of their votes, but the durability of the alliance is already being tested as Trump’s search for a Veterans Affairs secretary veers in a direction that has alarmed some of America’s most influential retired soldiers.
A plan to unclog the pipeline for disability claims in the Veterans Affairs Department has ended up re-clogging it with fraudulent claims. Veterans with great needs are bumped out of appointments by fakers. And money that could go to those too disabled to work a regular job gets diverted to the well-bodied.
Trump’s particular popularity with veterans is, historically speaking, lower than it should be. Compared to polls of previous GOP presidential candidates in the summer months preceding an election, a Morning Consult survey shows that Trump’s candidacy has split the usual Republican advantage in half.
“Iraq is one large hazardous waste site,” Ritter says. “If it was the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency would declare it a Superfund site and order it be cleaned.”