Clinton: VA Problems Overblown. VA Whistleblower: Let Me Give You A Facility Tour Then

Jonah Bennett | Contributor

Department of Veterans Affairs whistleblower Brandon Coleman is offering a personal tour at any VA facility to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to show her that corruption and mismanagement at the department is neither a right-wing conspiracy, nor restricted to one part of the country.

Coleman appeared Monday on Fox News to offer a response to Clinton’s claims that the apparent crisis at the VA is a product of press coverage and Republicans pushing an ideological agenda. (RELATED: Hillary Says VA’s Problems Aren’t As ‘Widespread’ As Republicans Claim [VIDEO])

“For Mrs. Clinton to say it’s an isolated incident, I’m prepared to meet her wherever she wants to meet,” Coleman said. “She can pick a VA facility. I’ll name some off for her right now: Tomah, Chicago, Minneapolis, we can go to Florida … We can talk to front-line employees and I bet you they’ll have similar stories to mine as to what’s going on at the VA.”

When mentioning the Phoenix VA specifically, the hospital where the waitlist manipulation scandal first kicked off in 2014, Coleman said that he’d like to take Clinton to the urology clinic, “where 45 veterans were not getting the care they deserved with stage 4 cancer.”

An October inspector general report ripped into the urology clinic at Phoenix, arguing that veterans died because of mismanagement and poor staffing. It’s not possible to arrive at a more precise number of veterans who suffered because medical records are in such disarray. But in half of the 10 cases examined, patients died from delays.

Pointing out problems at the VA and advocating for reform have nothing to do with partisan politics, said Coleman.

“I think the easy way out for her is to say that it’s a right-wing conspiracy. I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat. I’m a veteran,” Coleman said.

But while Clinton apparently thinks that the problems are not terribly widespread, members of her own party have recently called for major VA reform—and not just at the facility in Phoenix. Earlier in October, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked the Department of Justice to conduct a criminal investigation into VA executives, who defrauded taxpayers by gaming a relocation payments program. (RELATED: Top Veterans’ Democrat Wants DOJ To Investigate VA Execs)

Coleman isn’t the only one who did not take Clinton’s remarks well. Concerned Veterans for America CEO Pete Hegseth issued a statement shortly after Clinton appeared on MSNBC.

“Hillary Clinton has shown that just like the Obama Administration, of which she was a part, she will minimize the deep-rooted problems within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and engage in partisan attacks against those who propose real and fundamental reform,” Hegseth said. 

“Mrs. Clinton is clearly out of touch with reality when it comes to veterans’ needs, and despite her self-professed lack of understanding of VA issues, is more interested in defending the status quo and entrenched special interests than in actually advocating for the reforms veterans want.”

The Hillary campaign did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment on whether Clinton is interested in accepting Coleman’s offer.

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Tags : brandon coleman department of veterans affairs elections hillary clinton phoenix
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