Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has apologized for falsely claiming weeks ago that he served in the special forces.
Here is the statement he put out.
“While I was in Los Angeles, engaging a homeless individual to determine his Veteran status, I asked the man where he had served in the military. He responded that he had served in special forces. I incorrectly stated that I had been in special forces. That was inaccurate and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement.”
While it is always good to try to get ahead of a story and to get out front with an apology, I don’t think this is going to work. McDonald’s apology doesn’t account for how such an error can occur. I’ve never served in the military and don’t know much about Military culture, but I’m going to make a wild stab at it and assume that people who have served in the special forces don’t take too kindly who haven’t served in the special forces claiming to have done so.
Prediction: Members of the military will demand Secretary McDonald’s resignation. When you combine this force with enemies of the current administration who are always looking for an opportunity to criticize, regardless of the facts or situation, you end up with a political environment that will be impossible for McDonald to survive.
Between Brian Williams, Bill O’Reilly and Robert McDonald, it is looking like smart people should just shut up about their so-called war records.
TJ Walker teaches people how to speak to the news media. Call Media Training Worldwide at 212.764.4955