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Trump said he fixed the Veterans Administration — but veterans are still killing themselves in VA parking lots

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Sad soldier

President Donald Trump pledged to fix the Department of Veterans Affairs and the VA. He signed a bill that would open up private care for veterans and celebrated his success. It’s been nearly a year and veterans are still killing themselves while sitting in VA parking lots, the Washington Post reported.

“We won’t forget what happened to our GREAT VETS,” Trump tweeted last year before Democrats took over Congress. “Choice is vital, but the program needs work & is running out of $. Congress must fix Choice Program by Memorial Day so VETS can get the care they deserve. I will sign immediately!”

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The bill included $5.2 billion for the Choice Program.

“Since taking office, and working alongside of the VFW — and, by the way, your representatives have done an incredible job on helping us with the VA,” Trump told the VFW in 2018. “A complicated subject. So many different things. They help us so much. Because we put in legislation — I said, let’s make sure it’s legislation that’s good and that works, not legislation that’s obsolete before we even get it. If we’re going to fight like hell to get everybody to approve it, let’s get approved what’s good. And we’ve enacted some of the largest VA reforms in the history of the VA. Probably the largest.”

He went on to tout his executive order creating the “White House Veterans Hotline,” which has no connection to the White House and goes to a call center in West Virginia.

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“As promised, we established the White House VA Hotline, and every VA medical center now offers same-day emergency mental healthcare,” he told the VFW.

Just over six months later, the Post is detailing the outbreak of veteran suicides taking place in VA parking lots across the country.

Justin Miller, a 33-year-old Marine Corps trumpet player and Iraq veteran “was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts when he checked into the Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in February 2018.” He spent four days in the mental-health unit before walking out to his truck and shooting himself.

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His death was one of 19 veteran suicides in parking lots in just one year. According to The Military Times, the suicide rate for younger veterans has increased by more than 10 percent. Active-duty Army suicides reached their highest level since 2012, the military-centric site Task and Purpose reported in January. The Army lost 300 soldiers to suicide in 2018. Marine suicides also reached its highest level in a decade, despite the large-scale combat operations ending. Navy suicides joined the other branches, reaching it’s highest level since 2006, when data began being recorded.

Given the resources and attention to veterans and their mental health from the Trump administration, it’s unclear why the rate increased and the White House hasn’t commented. The VA also declined to comment to the Post, citing privacy concerns.

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The only good news seems to be that the VA managed to prevent 233 suicide attempts between Oct. 2017 and Nov. 2018 on hospital grounds.

Read the full piece of the 19 veterans at the Washington Post.

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AG Bill Barr will ‘try to interfere’ in the 2020 election to re-elect Trump: MSNBC national affairs analyst

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Attorney General William Barr will use the Department of Justice to "try to interfere" in the 2020 presidential election to re-elect Donald Trump, MSNBC's national affairs analyst predicted on Tuesday.

John Heilemann was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's "The Last Word."

"The attorney general, from the moment he walked into this job, has behaved in a -- as a ruthless, relentless political hack and a thug and who has behaved not as attorney general of the United States," Heilemann said.

"He made a travesty of the Mueller report and continues to lie on Donald Trump's behalf at every opportunity," he added.

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Trump welcomed Russia’s Sergey Lavrov to the White House — to humiliate us all

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Despite the fact that President Donald Trump still refuses to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington for an officials meeting — a topic at the center of the scandal driving Trump’s impeachment — the White House hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday.

And while Lavrov was honored with his second private Oval Office meeting (the first one was a cataclysmic disaster) and a press conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the foreign minister took his opportunity here to repeatedly humiliate the United States.

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United States, Mexico, Canada finalize Donald Trump’s USMCA trade deal

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The United States, Mexico and Canada signed a deal Tuesday to finalize their new trade agreement, paving the way to ratification after more than two years of arduous negotiations.

However, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the US Senate would likely delay Congressional ratification of the agreement until next year, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In reality, it is the second time the three countries have triumphantly announced the conclusion of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the deal meant to replace the 25-year-old NAFTA, which President Donald Trump complains has been "a disaster" for the US.

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