Sanders mum after first meeting with VA pick

 

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) met for the first time on Tuesday Robert McDonald, President Obama’s choice to run the troubled Veterans Affairs Department.

The White House formally submitted the nomination of McDonald, a former Procter & Gamble executive, to the Senate on Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT
The inaugural meeting with the Sanders, whose panel could take up the nomination before the end of July, marked another early step in what could be a turbulent confirmation process.

If approved by the Senate as VA secretary, McDonald, a 1975 West Point graduate who served for five years in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, would take over an agency that's been besieged for months by scandals over patient wait times and systemic falsified date throughout its medical network.

As a photographer took pictures of the meeting, McDonald, who worked at Procter & Gamble for 33 years, told Sanders that the Fortune 500 company only promotes from within, “so everybody starts at the bottom.”

He also briefly recanted how he transitioned from being an airborne infantry captain to the private sector working for a younger supervisor, a “very unusual” tactic employed by the company to help develop mid-level managers.

Photographers and reporters were then ushered from the room.

McDonald did not take questions before or after his hour-long meeting with Sanders.

Sanders also did not offer any statement to reporters after the hour-long powwow had ended.