I've known Jim Byrne for years and the term Boy Scout comes up a lot about him. He went into this Admin wanting to serve veterans and gave up a great paying job for it. He was not prepared for the Machiavellian insanity that is the Trump Admin and the thin skinned SecVA.
This story is even worse than what's printed. VA public affairs political appointees did try to shop dirt on the victim calling several reporters and as a testament to their profession none of them printed any of it. The idea that Crenshaw and Wilkie didn't talk is ridiculous.
They used the exact same "numbers" in separate sources. How did Wilkie know about these alleged 6 reports that Crenshaw mentioned months later? Crenshaw said he wouldn't slander the victim then he did it...on the record. A member of Congress smearing a professional staffer.
All Wilkie had to say is "I'm outraged that a veteran was assaulted in one of our facilities. I will work diligently to make sure this never happens again." That's it. That's what his PAO should have told him. But no. It was an attack on HIM! He fired Byrne to save himself.
How do you fire a Senate confirmed Deputy Secretary of the second largest federal agency without paperwork, evidence, a report to the Senate or approval from the President himself? I understand the "official" White House letter doesn't have letterhead or a signature. Why?
Did Trump know this was happening? Did @SecWilkie do a palace subterfuge game to get rid of his rival? How does his old aide from DOD, then Chief of Staff at VA end up as the Acting Deputy Secretary? Who is taking care of veterans while these stupid games are being played?
This story is a great start but there's many questions about how Wilkie has managed the VA. He has created a tense culture of fear and revenge against those who speak out. I'm glad he is out of there in 60 days. I hope he leaves sooner. We need a VA HQ that puts veterans first.

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More from @FPWellman

27 Oct
Continuing my review of Trump's many acts of disrespect to veterans and service members today. Back to 2017, just a few months after taking office he sat on his toilet at 7:00 AM and kicked thousands of patriotic service members out of uniform in 3 tweets over 15 minutes. Thread!
With Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation yesterday the rights of LGBQT+ Americans are in focus again and Trump has shown he's willing to trample their rights to appease his evangelical/conservative base. He wasted no time as POTUS making a heinous attack on the community in July 17.
In a surprise early morning tweet thread spread over 13 tense minutes Trump lied and said he had consulted with his "generals" and decided to implement a ban on the service of transgender individuals. The news shocked the Pentagon and service members.
Read 11 tweets
26 Oct
Going to review some of Trump's biggest failures with the military and veterans community this week as we approach Nov 3rd. Let's start way back and remember Trump's long history of disrespect for military service before the White House. Strap in for a thread! #LincolnProject
Trump was sent to military school by his father and thinks it means he served. He's spun his experience for decades, but, it's also the first time his toxic leadership got him in trouble when he was moved out of a command position in less than a month. washingtonpost.com/politics/decad…
Then he went off to college and used deferrals and finally a completely dubious 'bone spurs' diagnosis to dodge service. He would later tell his lawyer Micheal Cohen, 'You think I'm stupid? I wasn't going to Vietnam'. Only 'suckers' joined the military. newsweek.com/donald-trump-b…
Read 11 tweets
22 Oct
2 days ago I tweeted about @RepDougCollins using his military uniform in a @CollinsforGA campaign ad. It's much worse and advocates are calling for a real investigation and UCMJ punishment for the Congressman for violating DOD regs and norms. Strap in for a thread! #Georgia
So what's the reg? DoD Directive 1344.10, “Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces,” details what is and what is not allowed in campaign materials for active, reserve, or retired members of the military running for office. It's very precise. esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Doc…
Only photos of the candidate in uniform allowed are photos as part of the their biographical information, when accompanied by other non-military photos, and when also accompanied by a disclaimer stating that the appearance of the photo in uniform doesn’t imply a DoD endorsement.
Read 11 tweets
19 Oct
I spent the weekend diving into the IRS Form 990's for the Tommy Tuberville Foundation after reading how so little of the money went to the mission of supporting veterans. I've been a veterans advocate for 10 yrs and seen a lot of these. Strap in for a long thread! #Alabama
I looked at the 990's published by ProPublica (projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/org…). You won't find them on the foundations website or any information about the officers, legal framework or donations. But, you will find out how AWESOME TOMMY IS and how much he loves the troops!
The accounting and paperwork is an absolute mess. Different forms every year, different addresses, wildly missed reporting numbers, totals that don't add up and bizarre financial choices. At a minimum the foundation has been incredibly poorly and unprofessionally managed.
Read 13 tweets
6 Oct
Remember when Trump blamed military and law enforcement for Hope Hicks getting COVID? It never made sense why she, and now him, would blame military personnel for giving it to them. Well...did you know there was a Gold Star Mother's Day event at the White House on Sunday?
What he said on Thursday “It’s very, very hard when you are with people from the military or law enforcement, and they come over to you, and they want to hug you, and they want to kiss you, because we really have done a good job for them. And you get close and things happen"
Now we know. Look at these photos from the event Tweeted out by the First Lady. No masks. No social distancing. They were all hanging out like normal the day after the super spreader event for Amy Coney Barrett. ImageImage
Read 10 tweets
24 Sep
I respect Kavanaugh’s position but he is wrong on a host of levels and it all starts with his status as a currently serving officer. When we retire we are citizens again. (1)

Retired military leaders shouldn’t endorse for president - Los Angeles Times latimes.com/opinion/story/…
The old saying that perspective is a matter of where you sit is on point here. I took off my uniform and enjoy the full rights of an American citizen as do these generals. I disagree with...well most of them but they have every right to speak out. (2)
I was especially put off by this nugget: “For one thing, the American public tends not to distinguish between active and retired generals.” Really? He uses Mattis as an example but he was a political appointee. We are in a fight for our country and I want all hands on deck. (3)
Read 4 tweets

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