Welcome to your Labor Day weekend Sunday show rundown! Today we're going to focus on Secretary Of Veterans Affairs and Bill Barr's younger clone, Robert Wilkie.

Wilkie's appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" with host Dana Bash comes after The Atlantic published its story on Trump's disdain for the military and veterans on Thursday. Things got worse on Friday when Fox News reporter Jennifer Griffin independently corroborated the story, only to be underbussed by her own network.

This set off Trump so much, he violated the Constitution ( again) by trying to infringe on Griffin's First Amendment rights of freedom of speech (individually) and freedom of the press (career-wise).

It probably didn't help his mood when he "choked" while golfing that The Atlantic story had also been confirmed as of the time of this writing by Washington Post, New York Times, AP and CNN.


Wilkie began by dismissing the credibility of anonymous sources:

WILKIE: I would be offended, too, if I thought it was true. Again, I think anonymous are the same people that brought you fake heart attacks, fake strokes, Russian collusion. [...]

Only one question in and already Wilkie has shown that in addition to looking like him, he can lie like a common Bill Barr too. The Trump campaign's collusion with Russia in 2016 has been very well documented, and just recently the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed it. And nobody said mini-strokes and heart attacks, except Trump.

Confidential or unnamed sources are not new. During the Watergate scandal, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein relied on their source to expose Nixon's corruption and crimes.

youtu.be

Of course, Trump himself has used "anonymous sources" for everything from birtherism to accusing an opponent's father of assassinating a former president to passing as his own public relations representative. This is typical GOP and Trump projectionism of accusing their opponents of what you are doing/have done, like voter fraud!

In fact, the only people denying Trump made these disparaging comments seem to be congenital liars or partisan hacks like Sarah Huckabee Sanders (when she's not being offered as a brutal dictator's concubine by Trump, that is).

Dana Bash continued pointing out this pattern of disrespect for the military, veterans and gold star families is entirely consistent with Trump's public statements about John McCain or the Khan family. After being played the tape of Trump disparaging McCain for being a POW, Wilkie proceeded to set the bar below the ground.

WILKIE: Well, I understand that, in the passion of a campaign, with two powerful personalities — and I'm a friend — I was a friend with John McCain. [...] I — I understand politics. I understand name-calling when it comes from both sides. [...]

Bash, understandably, pushed back on this horseshit from a man who described himself as being in the military since birth and again Wilkie twisted himself to defend the indefensible.

BASH: But, Mr. Secretary, this isn't about politics. This is about — he denigrated not just John McCain, but he said, "I like people who weren't captured." He denigrated prisoners of war. As somebody who just described yourself as you were born wearing khaki -- or when you were little, you were wearing khaki diapers...

WILKIE: Sure.

BASH
: ... and somebody who was close to the McCain family, is that acceptable?

WILKIE
: Well, it's — it's politics. It's the heat of a campaign.

But the kicker of this interview was when Wilkie tried to peddle the debunked lie that Trump passed the Veteran's Choice Act, Bash was having none of that shit:

BASH: Well, you say that, but I have to ask you about the VA in particular and something that President Trump has consistently done, which is misleading the public about his record for veterans. He claimed credit more than 150 times — 150 times — for the Veterans Choice Act. That was signed into law by President Obama. [...] Now, this is an important law that allows some veterans to get health care from outside the VA system. Now, I know President Trump expanded it in 2018. But why does he insist on repeating that he's responsible for passing it, when it was President Obama?

WILKIE: Well, you just — you just answered your own question by saying that this Trump initiative, which is the MISSION Act, actually expands Choice to all veterans. [...]

This is how much of a liar Wilkie is. He actually admits the lie that he's telling but acts incredulous and condescending by saying "you just answered your own question."

Bash again pushed back on this and Wilkie could only agree she was correct — but tries a new tactic.

BASH: Right. But — but he said, we passed the Veterans... the Veterans Choice and Veterans Accountability Act. That literally was signed by President Obama. Do you wish you would...

WILKIE: Well, you — that's right. But you are talking about semantics. You are talking about semantics, as opposed to substance. We have given permanent choice. That's what the president is saying. The Obama — the Obama administration...

BASH: But shouldn't semantics matter when you're talking about the president trying to explain what his record is for veterans that obviously mean a lot to you?

WILKIE: Well, I think the — I will tell you, you have been up on Capitol Hill a lot. Choice is much easier to understand than the MISSION Act.

Oh, so you are INTENTIONALLY misleading people because Trump wants to take credit for work he didn't do, Wilkie? Because Trump signed an improvement bill to the program Obama started rather than the actual bill. It's like Obama built a beautiful house and Trump is taking credit for the whole build for adding a few coats of paint.

But this isn't the only case where Wilkie has ignored facts or dismissed it as "semantics" as the video below shows:

youtu.be

Undermining credibility of sexual assault victims and trying to discredit them? Now I see why Trump likes this guy.

There used to be some lines politicians and people of decency didn't cross. Military service was one of them. I can't stand people like Lindsey Graham or Tom Cotton, but I would never denigrate the military service they did. To accept this as the new standard lets cowards like frozen food man-child heirs THINK they have the right to insult a wounded warrior like Senator Tammy Duckworth as "un-American."

Oh my bad, I forgot John Kerry's "purple heart band-aids." So Republicans can and do and have for decades denigrated military service ... of Democrats. Carry on then, Trump. Get back to it.

Have a week!

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Michael Mora

Pop Culture observer & Comics fan. Amateur Movie Reviewer. Political Freelance Writer @wonkette. Marine, Husband & Dad. Opinions are mine only.

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