So hey I have a question. Why are a bunch of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf buddies shaping policy at the VA?

By |2018-08-09T08:35:46+00:00August 8th, 2018|Categories: Front Page, News|Tags: , , , |12 Comments

Courtesy of ProPublica

Last February, shortly after Peter O’Rourke became chief of staff for the Department of Veterans Affairs, he received an email from Bruce Moskowitz with his input on a new mental health initiative for the VA. “Received,” O’Rourke replied. “I will begin a project plan and develop a timeline for action.”

O’Rourke treated the email as an order, but Moskowitz is not his boss. In fact, he is not even a government official. Moskowitz is a Palm Beach doctor who helps wealthy people obtain high-service “concierge” medical care.

More to the point, he is one-third of an informal council that is exerting sweeping influence on the VA from Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida. The troika is led by Ike Perlmutter, the reclusive chairman of Marvel Entertainment, who is a longtime acquaintance of President Trump’s. The third member is a lawyer named Marc Sherman. None of them has ever served in the U.S. military or government.

Yet from a thousand miles away, they have leaned on VA officials and steered policies affecting millions of Americans. They have remained hidden except to a few VA insiders, who have come to call them “the Mar-a-Lago Crowd.”

The trio refused to answer questions from ProPublica, but they downplayed their role through a crisis communication consultant, which is always a good sign that there has been no wrongdoing. 

The spokesman for the VA also said that these men did not have any undue influence and that they solicit input from all kinds of people. 

However according to the documents obtained by ProPublica that is a load of horseshit:

But hundreds of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with former administration officials tell a different story — of a previously unknown triumvirate that hovered over public servants without any transparency, accountability or oversight. The Mar-a-Lago Crowd spoke with VA officials daily, the documents show, reviewing all manner of policy and personnel decisions. They prodded the VA to start new programs, and officials traveled to Mar-a-Lago at taxpayer expense to hear their views. “Everyone has to go down and kiss the ring,” a former administration official said.

If the bureaucracy resists the trio’s wishes, Perlmutter has a powerful ally: The President of the United States. Trump and Perlmutter regularly talk on the phone and dine together when the president visits Mar-a-Lago. “On any veterans issue, the first person the president calls is Ike,” another former official said. Former administration officials say that VA leaders who were at odds with the Mar-A-Lago crowd were pushed out or passed over. Included, those officials say, were the secretary (whose ethical lapses also played a role), deputy secretary, chief of staff, acting undersecretary for health, deputy undersecretary for health, chief information officer, and the director of electronic health records modernization.

At times, Perlmutter, Moskowitz and Sherman have created headaches for VA officials because of their failure to follow government rules and processes. In other cases, they used their influence in ways that could benefit their private interests.

I am actually not sure which laws, if any, were broken here, but I do know that this thing stinks to high heaven. 

Trump now owns, and profits, from a private golf club that not only allows you to have access to the commander-in-chief but also, if you play your cards right, have control over your very own federal agency. 

Oh, and I hear there is a little golfing involved as well. 

About the Author:

This blog is dedicated to finding the truth, exposing the lies, and holding our politicians and leaders accountable when they fall far short of the promises that they have made to both my fellow Alaskans and the American people.


  1. ANONYMOUS August 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    “Perlmutter offered to be an outside adviser, according to people familiar with the matter. Having fought for his native Israel in the 1967 war before he moved to the US and became a citizen”

  2. Anonymous August 8, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Donald Trump Tweeted ‘Red Wave!’ — And Twitter Users Brought The Snark

  3. Anonymous August 8, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    I have the same question ,why is the VA listening and how much money have they pocketed?
    Is their anyone in the trump administration that isn’t a criminal or morally or ethically bankrupt?

    • Beaglemom August 9, 2018 at 4:43 am

      In a word, no.

  4. Anonymous August 8, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Lord love a DUCK, do I miss President Obama and First Lady Michelle.

  5. Anonymous August 8, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Maddow Obtains Audio of Nunes Warning of Russia Probe: ‘If Mueller Won’t Clear’ Trump, ‘We’re The Only Ones’

    …During the talk with his fellow Republicans, Nunes said this: “So therein lies, so it’s like your classic catch-22 situation, where we were at a — this puts us in such a tough spot. If Sessions won’t un-recuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones — which is really the danger. That’s why I keep, and thank you for saying it by the way, I mean we have to keep all these seats. We do not keep the majority, all of this goes away.”

    Responding to Nunes’ remarks, Maddow commented on what the GOP — and specifically Nunes — is saying behind closed doors.

    “The case they’re making is that they either need to stop the investigation of the president, they need to stop the Russia investigation or they need to keep using the power of Congress to impede that investigation, or else, right?” Maddow said. “That’s why they want to keep the majority. That’s the stakes for them keeping the majority.”

    “They’re using the majority to impede the investigation,” Maddow further added.

    GOP Rep. Devin Nunes in Leaked Audio Says Trump Tweets Make Him ‘Cringe’

    …While speaking about Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s probe at the dinner, Nunes said, “they know it’s ridiculous to go after the President for obstruction of justice.”

    He then referenced reports that Mueller’s team is looking at Trump’s tweets for possible obstruction.

    “But if they tell a lie often enough and they put it out there and they say, ‘Oh, we’re looking at the tweets,’ and you know you’ve got a mixed bag on the tweets, right?” Nunes said. “Like sometimes you love the president’s tweets, sometimes we cringe on the president’s tweets.”

    “But they’re trying to make a political, this is all political as to why that story ran in the New York Times on the tweets,” he said.

  6. Anonymous August 8, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    The trump administration sounds like one huge crime organization.

    Another reason that business people have no place in the government. they place profit over people and that is not the role of government. Another fine example of so called businessmen in government is King Rick of Mich. too cheap to spend a few bucks on water filters and poisoned a whole city.

  7. Anonymous August 8, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Twitter CEO Gives Interview To Conspiracy Theorist About Refusing To Ban Conspiracy Theorists

    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey raised eyebrows by choosing Sean Hannity to interview him about his decision not to ban the accounts of Infowars’ Alex Jones.

    The day after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey faced a barrage of criticism for his decision to allow Infowars’ conspiracy theory peddler Alex Jones to remain on his platform, he gave an interview Wednesday to another noted conspiracy theorist, Sean Hannity.

    Speaking for about 25 minutes on Hannity’s radio show, Dorsey reiterated statements he made Tuesday, steered clear of mentioning Jones and answered softball questions. Hannity has pushed a number of outlandish conspiracy theories on Fox News and his other platforms about President Barack Obama’s birthplace, Hillary Clinton’s health, and the murder of a Democratic National Committee employee.

    “We haven’t done a great job of communicating our principles, the guidelines that help us make the decisions in the first place,” Dorsey said of banning and suspending accounts.

    “We do not shadow-ban according to political ideology or viewpoint or content. Period,” he continued

    The two agreed that users should mute or block accounts that offend them ― though people who feel victimized by Infowars conspiracy theories would likely remind them that Alex Jones’ followers have been known to terrorize his targets.

    Dorsey’s comments came the day after he announced that he would not take down Jones’ personal account or his Infowars account ― even though nearly every other major social media platform did so in recent days. The fringe broadcaster has used social media to push conspiracy theories, including that the Sandy Hook massacre was faked, as well as hateful and false comments toward immigrants, transgender people and the Black Lives Matter movement.

    …If this was Dorsey’s attempt at damage control, giving an interview to a figure as controversial as Hannity was a strange choice. Several journalists noted on Twitter that Dorsey can be hard to land an interview with, so his decision to go on Hannity’s radio show packs an extra punch.

  8. Beaglemom August 9, 2018 at 6:27 am

    From above, Mar-a-Lago is just plain ugly and it looks like a place that would be full of mosquitoes.

  9. Anon August 9, 2018 at 8:00 am

    OT-FYI>”a figure that is more than 20 times its official death toll.” 20X!

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