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Trump whistleblower protection office under investigation — for retaliating against whistleblowers: report

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An office created by President Donald Trump to protect military whistleblowers is apparently doing the opposite — and is now the subject of an inspector general investigation.

Government Executive reported Tuesday that the Veterans Affairs IG is probing whether the agency’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection retaliated against whistleblowers.

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“It’s a crooked system where literally the fox is guarding the hen house,” Jay DeNofrio, an administrative officer at a VA facility in Pennsylvania, told GovExec.

DeNofrio, the report noted, had been a whistleblower prior to the office’s creation by Trump in 2017 when he reported a VA doctor who he said was losing mental capacity and potentially putting veterans at risk.

According to him, the OAWP “coordinated with VA headquarters to find blemishes on his own record after he reported wrongdoing. When questioning his coworkers after he blew the whistle, DeNofrio said the office told them he “does not walk on water” in spite of his protected status and that they should report him for “any instances of poor behavior.”

Dan Martin, an engineer at a VA facility in Indiana, said the agency’s inspector general had him secretly record conversations when he blew the whistle in 2016 — but it wasn’t until OAWP got involved that “supervisors became aware of that cooperation.”

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“OAWP set me up,” Martin told GovExec. “They incentivized [my facility] to go after me.”

As the report noted, the office was initially touted by the Trump administration and bipartisan legislators as a means to protect and prioritize whistleblowers.

At one point, the president even said that the OAWP “protects whistleblowers who do the right thing.”

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“We want to reward, cherish, and promote the many dedicated employees at the VA,” Trump said when he signed the bill that created the agency.

The website, meanwhile, spoke with three VA employees who said they’d been interviewed by the IG about the office.

Read more reports of the office’s retaliation via Government Executive.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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MSNBC anchor blasts Trump’s ‘lunacy’ after ‘a Twitter tirade that sent the Dow spiraling’

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The New York Stock Exchange closed down over 600 points on Friday as President Donald Trump's trade war with China escalated.

MSNBC anchor John Heilemann said, "we’re hours away for the president taking off to the G7 summit in Bairritz, France, where allies are bracing for the Trump-fueled mayhem that is now 100% certain to ensue, with Trump like a drunken traveler in the departure lounge about to take a trip that he dreads, already sewing global chaos, days-long public meltdown typically moved from words to actions."

"Donald Trump beginning this day with a Twitter tirade that sent the Dow spiraling, closing down more than 600 points today and escalating his trade war with China with these norm-shattering, power-abusing words in this tweet," he said, putting the tweet on-screen.

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‘Making things worse’: National Farmer’s Union chief unloads on Trump in blistering statement on trade war

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Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union, delivered a blistering rebuke to President Donald Trump after he responded to new tariffs from China by issuing a purported "order" telling American companies to look for alternative places to manufacture their goods.

In an official statement, Johnson pointed out that farmers so far have felt the brunt of the president's trade war, as China has slapped heavy tariffs on key agricultural products such as soybeans.

He also crushed the president for failing to make any progress on reopening the Chinese market to American goods.

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Doctors treat Ruth Bader Ginsburg for tumor on her pancreas: SCOTUS spokesperson

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week had underwent a procedure to treat a tumor from her pancreas, a court spokesperson tells Washington Post reporter Robert Barnes.

According to the Court, "the tumor was treated definitively" with radiation "and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body."

The 86-year-old Ginsburg late last year underwent surgery to treat lung cancer and she returned to the bench this past February.

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