Donald Trump Has Been Letting Random Mar-a-Lago Members Run The VA

While on the campaign trail, former reality show star Donald Trump repeatedly vowed that he would “take care of Veterans” if elected and now that he’s in office, he seems to have forgotten about that vow. Unless allowing Mar-a-Lago members to run the V.A. is his idea of taking care of our country’s veterans. According to a report by ProPublica, Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, a Palm Beach doctor named Bruce Moskowitz and attorney Marc Sherman, were found to have “sweeping influence” on policies concerning our country’s military veterans. All three of those men are members of Trump’s fancy pants Florida resort.

A few VA insiders call the three men – who have never served in the government or military –  as “the Mar-a-Lago Crowd.” ProPublica discovered via thousands of documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests that the three men have been issuing orders to officials at the VA, and reviewing policy. In addition, officials had to travel to Mar-a-Lago at taxpayer expense in order to hear their views.

“Everyone has to go down and kiss the ring,” a former administration official said.

The ‘Mar-a-Lago Crowd’ spoke with officials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs daily and reviewed “all manner of policy and personnel decisions.”

Perlmutter also speaks with Trump on a regular basis on the phone and is the first person the former reality show star calls on issues concerning veterans. When Trump is relaxing at Mar-a-Lago, he dines with Perlmutter.

“On any veterans issue, the first person the president calls is Ike,” another former official told the news outlet.

If VA leaders were at odds with the Mar-A-Lago Crowd, they were pushed out or passed over.

It sounds so swampy:

At times, Perlmutter, Moskowitz and Sherman have created headaches for VA officials because of their failure to follow government rules and processes. In other cases, they used their influence in ways that could benefit their private interests.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said that the three men “have no direct influence over the Department of Veterans Affairs.” VA spokesman Curt Cashour said that “a broad range of input from individuals both inside and outside VA has helped us immensely over the last year and a half.”

But according to the trove of documents obtained by ProPublica, the troika have a lot of influence at the VA and review “all manner of policy and personnel decisions.”


Image via screen capture.