Facts Matter: Trump misstated McCain's role in veteran's health program

 
 
Updated 3/23/2019 5:04 PM
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  • Although President Donald Trump is responsible for some reforms in the Veterans Choice health care program, it was the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, who sponsored the bill that created the program.

    Although President Donald Trump is responsible for some reforms in the Veterans Choice health care program, it was the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, who sponsored the bill that created the program. Associated Press

  • Sen. John McCain

    Sen. John McCain

  • President Donald Trump Wednesday before he left the White House to tour an Army tank plant in Ohio.

    President Donald Trump Wednesday before he left the White House to tour an Army tank plant in Ohio. Associated Press

President Donald Trump took credit last week for the Veterans Choice health care program and criticized the role of U.S. Sen. John McCain, who died of brain cancer last year.

"McCain didn't get the job done for our great vets and the VA," Trump said during a speech Wednesday in Lima, Ohio. "I got the job done. I got Choice, and I got accountability."

Although Trump is responsible for some reforms to the program, it was actually McCain who got it done, according to The Associated Press.

The Veterans Choice Act, which created the Veterans Choice program, was sponsored in the Senate by Republican McCain and Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders. The legislation sought to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs following incidents at a Phoenix VA facility in which veterans died while waiting for medical appointments.

It was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2014.

In May 2018, Trump signed into law reforms to encourage whistle-blowing and make it easier to remove problematic employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs, AP said.

The expansion of the program, named after three veterans who served in Congress, is called the John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018.

Photos are actually from two other plane crashes

Two photos circulating on social media with claims they were taken at the scene of the recent plane crash in Ethiopia are actually from two other plane crashes, according to The Associated Press.

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed March 10 shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, en route to Nairobi, Kenya, killing 157 people, AP said.

One of the photos misidentified as the Ethiopian crash site was taken by Reuters following a June 30, 2015, crash in Indonesia, AP said. The image shows an overturned tail section of a Hercules C-130 military transport plane.

The other incorrect photo is from Getty Images and shows the charred tail section of a plane involved in an April 11, 2018, crash of a military plane in Boufarik, Algeria, AP said.

Quran photo isn't from Christchurch shooting

A photo appearing recently on social media shows a bloodstained Quran supposedly found at a New Zealand mosque following a mass shooting earlier this month. The same image, however, was posted online six month ago, according to Snopes.com.

A gunman killed 50 people on March 15 at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, according to AP.

The social media post refers to the Quran as "a martyr's Quran in Christchurch."

But the photo was also posted online Sept. 20, 2018, with the claim the book was "stained with the blood of children" killed in a U.S. drone strike in Somalia, Snopes said.

Prince didn't recruit Michael Jordan

A Facebook post claiming Prince invested in Nike, brought Michael Jordan to the company and designed the first Air Jordan shoe is a repost of a false rumor that began after the singer's 2016 death, according to PolitiFact.com.

Prince biographer Joseph Vogel told PolitiFact the story is an old myth.

The recent meme shows Prince and Jordan side by side and claims, "Back in 1971 Prince invested in the Nike Shoe Company. Later in 1983, he recruited Michael Jordan, designed Jordan's 1st iconic shoe, and set up Nike's Jordan 1 sales campaign. Prince set Michael up to become a billion dollar shoe mogul and few even know it."

Prince, born June 7, 1958, would have turned 13 years old in 1971, making it improbable he would have invested in Nike, PolitiFact said. The musician didn't achieve commercial success until his debut album was released in 1978.

Jordan signed with Nike in 1984, but there is no evidence Prince had anything to do with it, PolitiFact said. There are no media reports to back up the claim and an account by Jordan's agent at the time doesn't mention Prince.

The first Air Jordan shoe, known as Air Jordan 1, was designed by artist Peter Moore, according to PolitiFact.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook's efforts to combat false news.

After Prince's death, Jordan said the singer was a genius and his "songs inspired me throughout my career."

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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