'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 TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates 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 WilkieVA to allow religious symbols at facilities Overnight Health Care: Court allows Trump abortion referral ban to take effect | GOP group launches M blitz against 'Medicare for All' | Star GOP lawyer raises constitutional concerns with surprise billing legislation VA chief pressed on efforts to prevent veteran suicides 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