WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald says integrity and character “is part of who I am” and apologized anew for erroneously claiming he served in the military’s special forces.
At a news conference outside VA offices Feb. 24, McDonald told reporters he made the misstatement in a conversation with a homeless veteran he was trying “to connect with.”
McDonald added: “I apologize for that. I have no excuse for it.”
The VA Secretary has drawn expressions of disappointment, but no demands for his resignation. He served five years in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, qualified as an Army Ranger but did not serve in a Ranger regiment.
He was never part of the special forces — elite units that are trained to perform unconventional missions including covert operations, hostage rescue and other high-risk actions.