Claim: President Trump recently said on Twitter that he has been more successful than the late Senator John McCain in creating beneficial policies for military veterans.
Rating: This claim is MOSTLY FALSE. Trump regularly takes credit for laws and practices that were codified during the Obama administration. In addition, Trump’s policies have not been beneficial to the military. To this day, Trump has not criticized Russia for placing a bounty on American troops.
On Sept 3 on Twitter, in response to The Atlantic article that claimed he called military service members “suckers” and “losers,” including the late Senator John McCain, President Trump tweeted, “I disagreed with [McCain] with respect to the vets and the taking care of the VA [hospital system]. I wanted to do it a much different way, and I think it’s proven to be a much more successful way when you look at the success we’ve had with the VA and with our vets.”
Trump then took credit for the Veterans Choice health care program, which was actually sponsored by McCain and signed into law by President Obama in 2014. McCain served during the Vietnam War and was a prisoner of war for 5-and-a-half years. The law McCain sponsored allowed veterans to be covered by the government for receiving care from private doctors outside the VA health system. Trump did sign the VA MISSION Act in 2018 that expanded Veterans Choice.
Trump frequently points to VA accomplishments such as improved wait times and the offering of same-day mental health services. But those improvements began under the Obama administration.
From a policy perspective, Trump’s policies have not been beneficial to the military. To this day, Trump has not offered a repudiation of Russia placing a bounty on American troops. He has called those reports a “hoax,” even though it has been confirmed by the CIA. Senator Tammy Duckworth, who is an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, has condemned Trump’s inaction. Meanwhile, Trump has questioned Duckworth’s patriotism.
Furthermore, postmaster general Louis DeJoy, appointed by Trump, has been approving policies which have caused delays in service from the United States Postal Service. Those mail delays have also caused delays in medications for veterans. More than 90% of veterans depend on the USPS for their medication.
According to a poll conducted by The Military Times, a plurality of active-service members (49.9%) held an unfavorable view of Trump; 37.8% had a favorable view. The poll also showed a preference for Joe Biden among active-service members. Biden’s late son, Beau, served in Iraq.
Cindy McCain, John McCain’s widow, has endorsed Biden for president. As of Sept. 24, 2020, two former military leaders have stepped forward to endorse Biden. They are the former leader of the Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft, and the former vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Air Force General Paul Selva.
Conclusion: Trump’s remarks about how beneficial his administration has been for veterans and the military are MOSTLY FALSE. As a result of his actions, a majority of active-service members have an unfavorable view of Trump.