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VA secretary apologizes for misstating military record

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has apologized for saying he was in the military special forces while being filmed by a CBS News crew.

In the segment that aired Jan. 30, McDonald was walking through Los Angeles during a count of homeless veterans, and one man told him he had served in special operations. McDonald said, “Special forces? What years? I was in special forces.”

The Huffington Post picked up on the comments this week. McDonald responded in a statement: “While I was in Los Angeles, engaging a homeless individual to determine his veteran status, I asked the man where he had served in the military. He responded that he had served in special forces. I incorrectly stated that I had been in special forces. That was inaccurate and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement.”

McDonald is a veteran who served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.

The White House issued a statement Monday: “We take him at his word and expect that this will not impact the important work he’s doing to promote the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans.”

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