File photo of Donald Trump. Photograph:( AFP )
The US president was speaking in New Jersey, and claimed that the Veterans Choice programme was passed in the country because of him
On Saturday, US President Donald Trump ended a news conference abruptly and walked out after being confronted about a lie he has told over 150 times.
Referring to the lie about a veterans health care programme, which CNN reported had been unfurled by Trump on multiple occasions, at least 150 times.
The US president was speaking in New Jersey, and claimed that the Veterans Choice programme was passed in the country because of him.
"We got it done"
"They've been trying to get that passed for decades and decades and decades and no president's ever been able to do it, and we got it done”, Trump asserted.
However, the programme was signed by former US President Barack Obama, after which it became a law in 2014.
The 2014 law allows veterans to be provided for by the government, especially healthcare. A bipartisan initiative, the move was taken forward by two senators that have faced Trump’s criticism - Bernie Sanders and later John McCain.
Perhaps what Trump was referring to was the VA MISSION Act, which was signed by him in 2018, after which it became a law. This was a slight modification to the eligibility criteria for the preexisting Choice programme.
Never in "50 years"
Even though Trump is solely responsible for a modification in the Act, he has taken credit for the entire programme, and has claimed that no president had been able to do this in “50 years”.
A CBS News correspondent Paula Reid asked Trump why he continues to call it his victory. “Why do you keep saying that you passed Veterans Choice?”, Reid asked Trump at the news conference.
Instead of answering Reid, Trump moved on to a different reported. Reid, however, continued and said "You said that you passed Veterans Choice. It was passed in 2014...it was a false statement, sir."
After this, Trump paused for a while and then made his exit. “Ok, thank you very much, everybody”, he announced before walking away as “YMCA” played in the background.
This marks the first rebuttal of Trump’s lie about the Veterans Choice programme. This was the same conference in which new coronavirus relief measures were announced.