Tammy Duckworth Urges VA to Cut Ties with the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd”
A report released by ProPublica last week exposed how Donald Trump’s friends -- who are not government employees and have little relevant experience -- inappropriately dictated a number of Veterans Affairs (VA) actions, and used the Department to advance their own business and personal interests. The investigation prompted former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), to pen a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie urging him to immediately cut ties with what she called the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd.” In the letter, Duckworth specifically called out Ike Perlmutter, Bruce Moskowitz, and Marc Sherman -- three politically-connected members of Trump’s famous Mar-a-Lago Club -- as unqualified “advisors” whose main qualifications appear to be money and access to the President. She also encouraged Wilkie to closely examine every action undertaken by former Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke, and swiftly remove all political appointees within the VA who are pushing a partisan agenda of privatizing VA medical care and leading politically-motivated staff firings, reassignment, and retaliation. “I urge you to immediately cut ties with those advisors who are unqualified to provide advice to the Department and whose involvement in policy decisions lack transparency and is not subject to effective oversight,” the letter reads. “Your success as Secretary will depend upon your ability to make personnel and policy choices that are free from political or outside interference and in the best interest of both the VA and the Veterans you serve. The mission of the VA is too important to have it hijacked by a select few who seek private gain from those who have borne the battle.” More here.