Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has admitted that he lied about serving in the special operations forces in a conversation with a homeless veteran that was caught on camera earlier this year
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald falsely claimed to a homeless veteran earlier this year that he had served in the special forces, an untruth to which the secretary admitted Monday evening.
In a videotaped comment first noted and exposed by The Huffington Post, Mr. McDonald embellished his record to a homeless veteran in Los Angeles who said he had been a member of the special forces before his current hard times.
“Special forces? What years? I was in special forces!” Mr. McDonald says in an exchange that CBS News aired on Jan. 30 as part of a segment about VA programs to house homeless veterans.
Mr. McDonald did have a distinguished military record, serving for five years in one of the military’s most-famous units, the 82nd Airborne Division, and completing Ranger training and thus earning a Ranger tab.
But “special forces” is a term of the art and the highly trained and extremely selective units to which it applies — the Green Berets, Army Rangers, Delta Force and Navy SEALs — guard it jealously. It does not include troops from the 82nd Airborne.
WH accepts apology, of course