President Donald Trump ditched a Saturday afternoon news conference after a reporter challenged his false claim that he, and not former President Barack Obama, had signed and passed the 2014 Veteran’s Choice program – veteran healthcare expansion measure that, according to CNN, the president has repeatedly lied about over 150 times.

Trump opened up Saturday’s briefing from his Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump National Golf Club, exclaiming, “I’ve just signed two bills that are great for our vets. Our vets are very special. We passed Choice, as you know – Veterans Choice – and Veterans Accountability.”


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The president immediately seized the opportunity to claim credit from Obama, saying, “And they’ve been trying to get that passed for decades and decades and decade… and no president has ever been able to do it.”

In 2014, the Veteran’s Choice program was signed into law by Obama. It granted government coverage to eligible veterans for healthcare measures provided by doctors outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. The Obama-era legislation had been a bipartisan initiative, which was spearheaded by the late Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), two congressmen that Trump frequently castigates.

In 2018, the president signed the VA MISSION ACT into law, which modified and expanded eligibility criteria from Obama’s Choice program. Yet, the president repeatedly has claimed that he solely created and passed the entire program, which Obama had done and had officially enacted into law during 2014. 

Trump was taking questions from the press at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, after signing four executive orders on Saturday when CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid interrogated him.

Reid said, “Why do you keep saying that you passed Veterans Choice? It was passed in 2014.”

The president replied, “Okay, excuse me. Go ahead, please.”

Reid continued, “But it’s a false statement, sir.”

Trump then left the podium. He ended the conference, saying, “Okay, thank you very much, everybody. Thank you very much.” 


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