On the same day when President Trump made a cameo to greet a group of tourists in the White House and found time to meet with Senators to negotiate his current policy antics, he chose to blow off a meeting with military veterans and send Apprentice winner Omarosa Manigault instead. The veterans organizations represent more than 6 million veterans and despite campaign promises to “do everything for veterans,” Trump has still not found the time to meet with a single veterans organization since assuming office.
Via DailyBeast: Tuesday’s meeting, which was first reported by the Military Times, included Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, former Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault, and a handful of White House staffers. Although the meeting was not on the president’s official schedule, several attending the meeting said they fully expected they would have met with Trump by this point in the administration.
Joe Chenelly, executive director of AMVETS told TheDailyBeast “I won’t say anyone told us we were meeting with the president, but it was implied that we would be able to voice our concerns to the boss, the guy who ultimately runs everything, which is the president.” Chenelly said veterans organizations feel “completely rebuffed” by the President, which shouldn’t be too surprising as Trump is not known for being a man of his word.
Chenelly added: “We feel like we really need the opportunity to talk directly to the Commander-in-Chief and the people making the decisions,” he said. “We were never given that opportunity, so that caused a lot of concern within our community to begin with.”
It is not surprising that Trump, a man who both insulted a Gold Star family and ridiculed Senator John McCain for having been captured in Vietnam, doesn’t treat veterans organizations with respect.
Via DailyBeast: To hear Trump during his “America First” presidential campaign, veterans were practically his sole priority. He tweeted repeatedly about “our great VETERANS,” and promised he’d “do everything for vets, who are being treated terribly.” In a summer speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Trump called veterans “the finest and bravest people on earth.”
“We are going to take care of our veterans like they’ve never been taken care of before,” he said at the time. He even promised to create a 24-hour White House hotline to answer complaints about the VA. If the hotline didn’t work, he said, “I will pick up the phone and fix it myself, if need be.”
Chenelly further lamented: “It was disturbing when I got out of the meeting and I looked at my phone and saw that the president had taken the time to meet with tourists instead […] I hope he can carve that time out for us soon.”
Some of the veterans in attendance spoke to the press on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisal from the Trump administration. Omarosa supposedly claimed her qualifications for taking the meeting as having once served as a chaplain in the militia:
“When Omarosa was introduced the room collectively gasped […] There were people there missing limbs and she was once a chaplain with the militia […] There was an obvious disconnect between that transition team and, at that point, New York.”
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