President Donald Trump abruptly ended a news conference Saturday when he was pressed by a reporter regarding his false claim that he was the first to sign the Veterans Choice bill into law, a feat that he said “no president has ever been able to do.”
“I’ve just signed two bills that are great for our vets, our vets are very special,” Trump announced during a news conference in Bedminster, New Jersey — his second in just two days. “We passed Veterans Choice, as you know, and Veterans Accountability. They’ve been trying to get that passed for decades and decades and no president has ever been able to do it.”
President Donald Trump abruptly left a news conference amid reporter questions Saturday, when he was challenged on a false claim that he signed the Veterans Choice bill into law, a feat that he said "no president has ever been able to do." pic.twitter.com/6G0tx8knK5
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 8, 2020
The President has repeatedly taken full credit for Veterans Choice – a bill that includes health care improvements that were first passed by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Trump said in a news conference announcing he had signed a series of executive orders, that former American leaders had tried and failed to pass Veterans Choice. But in reality, the Choice program, which enables veterans to be treated by doctors outside the government-run VA system at taxpayer expense, was first passed in 2014 under President Obama.
After calling on CBS reporter Paula Reid, who asked, “Why do you keep saying you passed Veterans Choice?” Trump tried to avoid the question, moving onto another reporter but Reid persisted, calling out the President for the claim.
“It was a false statement, sir,” she said.
Refusing to address the question, Trump quickly ended the briefing and stepped away from the podium – “thank you very much,” he said.