'American Sniper' widow Taya Kyle: The VA is 'a disaster'

Taya Kyle, the widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, said in an interview that aired Thursday on Hill.TV's "Rising" that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should be privatized, calling the agency "a disaster."

"The VA, in general, is a disaster," Kyle, whose husband was portrayed in the movie "American Sniper," told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton. "I've known people who are in Washington, D.C., trying to talk to the folks that are running it, and it's such a bureaucracy right now that I don't know there is any hope."

"For me to say that is extreme because I usually always see hope in everything," she added.

"I think, really, if I had the president's ear, I would tell him it's time to get our warriors into the private sector for their health care. Period," she said. "This is not working. The government and the military are meant to protect our borders. They're meant to protect. They're meant to fight. They are not in the business of health care. They are horrible at it."

The Trump administration has pushed for more privatization in the agency, which has come under fire for its handling of care for veterans in recent years. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE has touted the VA Mission Act, which would overhaul and consolidate the network of private health care providers where veterans can use their benefits.

“Most Americans can already choose the health care providers that they trust, and President Trump promised that veterans would be able to do the same,” VA Secretary Robert WilkieRobert Leon WilkieThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems seize on Ukraine transcript in impeachment fight The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Association of Manufacturers - The impeachment of President Trump has begun Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Impeachment inquiry overshadows Trump at UN | Veterans push VA to follow through on reforms | Iranian leader open to changes in nuke deal MORE said in January. "With VA’s new access standards, the future of the VA health care system will lie in the hands of veterans — exactly where it should be.”

— Julia Manchester