Report of ‘Mar-a-Lago crowd’ secretly running the VA leads to new investigation

A report by ProPublica into who is really running the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has led lawmakers to demand an investigation.

The report revealed that three friends of President Donald Trump, otherwise known as the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd” because they frequent Trump’s Florida beach club, carry an unprecedented amount of influence at the VA despite holding no formal position in the department or having served in the U.S. military. The three—Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz, MD, Marc Sherman, a lawyer, and Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter—have reportedly influenced policy shifts and leadership changes from Mar-a-Lago.

Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, penned a letter to the Inspector General urging an investigation into the alleged “abuses of ethics and misuse of government resources for private gain.” 

The allegations by ProPublica came to light as the Trump administration has continually advocated more private healthcare options in the VA.

“Membership in President Trump’s private club, alone, is not sufficient to have an informed opinion on the best way to deliver care and benefits to our nation’s veterans,” the senators wrote.