WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Major misstatement of the facts. This time, it comes from a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet. CBS News captured the Secretary of Veterans Affairs bragging about being in the special forces—but it’s a false claim he now admits to.
Mary Bubala has more.READ MORE: COVID In Maryland: 468 New Cases, 26 Deaths Reported
The exchange happened in January as a CBS News crew followed Secretary Robert McDonald. He was touring the streets of Los Angeles counting homeless veterans as part of a VA program to help them find housing.
The veteran said he was part of special forces and McDonald said he was, too, and asked the veteran which years.READ MORE: BWI Recognized As Best North American Airport Of Its Size By ACI World
But McDonald was not in the special forces. Instead, he served mostly with the 82nd Airborne division as a paratrooper. His discrepancy was first reported by Huffington Post and late Monday afternoon, he spoke out about his exaggeration.
“I made a mistake. I apologize for that. I have no excuse for it,” McDonald said. “It was a misstatement. It was a mistake.”
McDonald is a West Point graduate handpicked by President Obama to clean up a Veterans Affairs department plagued by scandal. Obama says he’s taking McDonald at his word that this was a misstatement on the fly and not a pattern of exaggeration.MORE NEWS: Firefighter Injured After Roof Collapses During Blaze At Odenton Motel 6
McDonald took office in July. He’s the former CEO of Proctor & Gamble.