Trump says he agrees with Ocasio-Cortez that the VA isn't broken

President responds to Congresswoman's comments

By Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Washington, DC - President Donald Trump on Wednesday found a rare point of agreement with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman congresswoman who has become a lightning rod for Republican criticism.

"Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is correct, the VA is not broken, it is doing great," Trump tweeted on Wednesday, picking up on comments Ocasio-Cortez made during a town hall last week in which she said of the Department of Veterans Affairs: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

But Trump either missed or chose to ignore the criticism Ocasio-Cortez's remarks triggered in conservative media, where several outlets panned her comments as out of step with evidence of dysfunction at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Ocasio-Cortez's comments were also leveled as a criticism of the Trump administration's attempts to reform the VA, including policies designed to privatize VA services.

"All I can think of is that classic refrain that my parents always told me growing up. Which is that, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it," Ocasio-Cortez said during the town hall last week, saying that "we have a responsibility to protect" the VA from efforts to privatize its medical services.

Ignoring Ocasio-Cortez's criticism of his administration's VA reform policies, Trump seized on the comments as vindication of his administration's efforts to improve the VA, saying the VA "is doing great ... because of the Trump Administration."

Trump also once again suggested that he is responsible for the Veterans Choice & Accountability Act, legislation that was first passed during President Barack Obama's tenure. A new version of the act was passed in 2018 under Trump.

Trump has previously falsely claimed the legislation passed Congress during his presidency after decades of failed efforts to reform the VA.

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