Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade falsely accused Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) of making veterans’ care worse when he chaired the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. In fact, during that time Sanders was one of the primary co-sponsors of the bipartisan 2014 VA reform bill, which aimed to improve care for veterans and which President Donald Trump often falsely takes credit for.
Fox & Friends hosted Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) on Thursday and he explained why he reacted so negatively to a Sanders tweet in which the senator wrote, “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, then don’t go to war.” (Two days prior, Sanders had shared video from one of his recent campaign events where a veteran said he was contemplating killing himself because of medical debt.) After Crenshaw suggested that Sanders was “pandering to veterans” and accused him of “trying to make people angry” with his “dishonest way” of doing politics, Kilmeade noted that Sanders had served as chairman of a congressional committee overseeing the VA and that he had “made it worse” during the 2014 VA scandal.
Kilmeade is lying. Months before the inspector general report detailing systemic problems at the VA was released, Sanders had already introduced a bill that would have funded dozens of new VA health clinics and expanded some physical and mental health benefits for some veterans and their families. Senate Republicans blocked that bill.
But Sanders was still instrumental in passing another bill, the bipartisan Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 after he struck a deal with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Trump has repeatedly made the false claim that he and Republicans deserve the sole credit for a part of the law that was signed in 2014. In fact, he’s even repeated this lie to Kilmeade on Fox & Friends.