Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth slammed a “left-wing, socialist hack group” that tried to smear him by twisting recent comments he made about veterans.
The U.S. Army veteran called out the group VoteVets for smearing him with a video clip and misleading comments accusing him of complaining that “veterans who use the benefits they’ve earned are ‘dependent’ on the government and lack ‘personal integrity.'”
— VoteVets (@votevets) April 5, 2019
Hegseth, who holds two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman Badge for service in Iraq and Afghanistan, reposted the tweet with the caption, “Watch, and enjoy! Truth can be a difficult thing for some folks—especially leftists.”
Watch, and enjoy! Truth can be a difficult thing for some folks—especially leftists. I standby everything I said. @votevets is a left-wing, socialist hack group, and always will be. https://t.co/dNCOUD1nVG
— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) April 5, 2019
VoteVets fired back with another attack on the “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host.
LOL. Guy with fat FOX contract, who wanted to privatize the VA, doubles down on saying veterans who apply for benefits they earned are a bunch of frauds in a leftist scheme.
— VoteVets (@votevets) April 6, 2019
Perhaps not surprisingly, many were quick to judge Hegseth and condemn his remarks without apparently watching the video.
As a veteran myself, but mostly as a human-THIS. MAKES. MY BLOOD. BOIL.
— Aliza Silverman (@mrAlizaRose) April 5, 2019
Despicable and unbelievably disrespectful.
— The Waco Kid ?? (@soopervillain) April 6, 2019
I don’t give a damn what this punk says, I am proud of my benefits. I like to see @PeteHegseth walk in any Veterans shoes before he talks.
— TSgt Kevin Edwards (Retired) ?? (@KLE1967) April 6, 2019
Even Democratic lawmakers couldn’t bother to watch the video to understand.
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) April 5, 2019
But an actual viewing of the clip would not only show that Hegseth was arguing for veterans to have more benefits, it would clearly show how the progressive VoteVets intentionally misled with their post.
“This is a really complicated discussion,” Hegseth said on “Fox & Friends” Friday.
“This is about disability ratings, which isn’t always necessarily tied to health care but the idea that this — the health care you get is about service-connected disabilities. If you go to war, and you get injured, we’ll take care of you,” he explained. “So when you come home, they try to rate how disabled you are and that’s how much care you get.”
He noted that the benefits are proportional and how veteran groups “encourage vets to apply for every government benefit they can ever get after they leave the service.”
“To me, the ethos of service is I served my country because I love my country and I’m going to come home and start the next chapter of my life,” he said. “And if I’ve got a chronic condition, mental, physical, otherwise, the government better be there for me. But otherwise, I don’t want to be dependent if I don’t have to be.”
Hegseth’s full comments, in context of the “Fox & Friends” discussion, were “obvious” to anyone who actually watched the video.
This is a disgusting and obvious smear, which is obvious to anyone who bothers to watch the video. The segment is Hegseth advocating for veterans to have more options for their care than just the government. He specifically says he expects gov’t to be there for vets. https://t.co/Pwhgd7pGK6
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) April 6, 2019
Guess which “expert” was too lazy to watch the video and decided to parrot this smear from a liberal group…. pic.twitter.com/VZaqfRjOnf
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) April 6, 2019
And while many on Twitter shredded Hegseth over the VoteVets clip and comments, others who didn’t need to be spoon-fed the left’s narrative were able to see things differently.
I was proud of Pete for speaking out today. There are too many Veterans totally dependent on the VA disability system and have not moved forward with their lives.
— J Horner (@OmaBikman) April 5, 2019
You don’t even know what you are talking about, & you are commenting about a video you haven’t watched. If you had watched it, you’d understand your comments are nonsensical. Do yourself a favor, don’t hit and run comment–it’s not helping your cause.
— Michael Davis (@Vegastechhead) April 6, 2019
There are few people who support our veterans more than you. Anyone who has ever watched you knows that. They’re just haters.
— I’mASurvivor2012 (@LalonniePufnock) April 5, 2019
He spoke the truth
— Carol A (@Mamadigss) April 6, 2019
You are speaking the truth, and you’re right, a lot of vet groups promote maximizing that disability rating. It’s sad this is what it has come to. Thanks for serving this great country of ours! #Maga #Veterans #DutyHonorCountry
— Michael Davis (@Vegastechhead) April 5, 2019