Sanders defends his record as VA committee chair

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie SandersBernie SandersIn California race, social justice wing of Democrats finally comes of age Sanders to headline progressive 'People's Summit' The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE defended his record as chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs committee on Thursday, saying he won't apologize for opposing efforts to privatize the agency.

ADVERTISEMENT
Sanders was asked by a veteran in the audience at the MSNBC/Telemundo town hall in Nevada about his record as committee chairman during the VA scandal two years ago.

During the town hall, the Vermont senator initially said that the scandal wasn't real and had been manufactured by the Koch brothers in order to privatize the VA. 

"The Koch brothers and many of their allies do precisely want to privatize the VA," he said. "That's what they want to do."
 
He went on to list a number of veterans organizations that agreed with his stance against privatization.
 
"Veterans have their own special healthcare needs based on their service to this country. I will fight to protect and preserve the veterans administration."
 
He also noted his involvement in the bill that was passed to address the shortage of doctors and nurses in the VA healthcare system.
 
"I apologize to nobody for my work as chairman of the VA. We made significant progress in improving healthcare and expediting benefits for the veterans of our country, who deserve, by the way, the highest quality healthcare we can provide."