Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has a policy of handing out his cell phone number if veterans need to get a hold of him. Here’s what happened when Fox and Friends decided to test that claim.
When hosts on the Fox News show called McDonald’s number live on the air Thursday, they found his voicemail box was completely full.
“The mailbox belonging to Bob McDonald is full at this time,” the message stated during co-host Steve Doocy’s call. “Please try again later.”
The hosts burst into laughter.
“Are you kidding me?” Pete Hegseth said.
“Just like the VA,” said Doocy. “Just like the VA.”
“Is there a more perfect and poignant example of the VA?” Hegseth asked. “Here’s my number, give it a call. I’ll help you out. I call, and the mailbox is full. That should be played on a loop.”
“That, America, is what our veterans face from the bureaucracy that says they care,” he continued. “But when you actually go for care? Zip, nada, doesn’t matter.”
McDonald has repeatedly said he is accessible and responsive, and goes so far as to give out his personal cell number to the public as a sign of his commitment to getting veterans the help they need. He gives out the number because, as he put it in a speech last year, “veterans struggle to connect with VA.”
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, one of the other hosts, asked Hegseth what needs to be done to set things right at the department. Hegseth, who is the CEO of veterans’ advocacy group Concerned Veterans for America, said the VA needs to allow people to be fired.
Employees who deserve bonuses should receive bonuses, he said. Those who don’t should be fired.