UPDATE: This article has been updated, scroll to the End to See the White House’s Response.
An unacceptable situation continues to unfold in Palm Beach County, Florida where the local VA Hospital still does not have a portrait of President Trump hanging in their halls.
It’s been two months since the President was inaugurated and several weeks since the new Secretary of the VA, David Schulkin was confirmed to the position, but their portraits remained absent from the Palm Beach VA.
Their absence did not go unnoticed as veteran’s walk those halls each and every day. Thankfully, their Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL) is a veteran himself and understands the anger his constituents feel at the idea that their Commander in chief is being slighted by the hospital. After receiving a handful of calls about the missing portraits Congressman Mast decided to take matters into his own hands and brought a pair of portraits down to the VA himself. Mast and several other area veterans were caught on film walking into the VA facility and and watching as the portraits they brought with them were hung in place by facility employees.
Congressman Mast had this to say in a statement to local media:
“This morning, Congressman Mast visited the West Palm Beach VA, where he gets his own healthcare, after numerous calls from constituents that there was a delay in hanging up photos of the new VA Secretary and President—photos that are hung in every VA facility across the country. While there, he addressed the concerns of these local veterans by helping to hang the official photos of Secretary Shulkin and President Trump.”
Two who were there and saw the pictures hung said Mast was right and the VA should have already had the portraits in place.
Veteran Beau Brumfeld said: “Proud of the fact that the local vet community got it done. We walked in there, we made it happen. It was non-confrontational. It was nonpolitical. We just wanted to see it happen,” Brumfeld also told the local media that “not hanging the photographs was disrespectful.”
John Rourke, also a veteran agreed with Brumfeld. “Two blank holes, it’s been 60 something days now. The veterans administration has been asked about it a few times, the local VA hospital has and they haven’t had any real reason other than they didn’t have the picture, which is readily available,” Rourke said. The veteran concluded by saying, “That’s the person who would ultimately give the order for us to put our lives in danger and we believe that his picture should be displayed there proudly.”
Sadly, not long after Mast left the VA facility took down the portraits saying they “hadn’t been authenticated.” The VA further told the local CBS affiliate that, “the congressman’s actions and the actions of the veterans who accompanied him were “inappropriate” and the cell phone video was not legally obtained. Additionally, the spokeswoman said the portraits have been removed because they have not been authenticated and portraits on display at the VA need to come from the central office.”
This is completely unacceptable and I find it hard to believe that the facility’s administrator isn’t an anti-Trump liberal.
UPDATE: On Friday morning the White House responded to the situation and told every VA facility across the nation to hang portraits of the President and VA Secretary Schulkin ASAP!
The White House issued a directive to all VA facilities, instructing them to hang a portrait of President Trump, Ed Henry reported this morning.