Well, this is an interesting twist. We've been reporting on Concerned Veterans For America for years now, since the days when Pete Hegseth became a regular on Fox News for commentary on veteran's affairs.
Here's Pete, arguing for the privatization of the VA, which Rachel Maddow just slams in the video at the top. "Here, veterans, here's your voucher. See ya later!," she taunted.
Hegseth is a Koch-made man. Without the Kochs and the Koch network, he'd be nothing. Nobody.
In Rachel Maddow's segment, she said she wasn't sure how much the Kochs had given Concerned Veterans for America. Here's what I know.
- In 2012, its first year of existence, it received $1,968,500 from Koch-related trust entities.
- In 2013, Freedom Partners Trust, the Koch bank for related non-profits, gave $5,245,000.
Hegseth himself admitted at a Koch meeting that it was a project of the Kochtopus.
After building up the issue of privatizing the VA, and Pete Hegseth as the face of Concerned Veterans for America, Hegseth is erased entirely, without so much as a gold watch or a going-away party.
According to the Military Times:
Both Hegseth and CVA officials said his decision to step down was mutual, dismissing rumors of a rift between the former CEO and the group’s financial backers. Hegseth said he’ll be releasing a book in early May and pursuing advocacy work broader than just VA issues.
“Sometimes it just makes sense to make a transition,” he said. “I’m grateful to have had this opportunity, and I’ll still be fighting on these issues.”
That isn't how things work in Koch-land. Once you're in, you're in. And he was entrusted with milliions to advance that particular project, which is how they roll. Something happened there, whether Hegseth had second thoughts about privatizing the VA or some other rift.
I'll follow up with anything I might find, but for now it looks like VA privatization lacks a face and a spokesperson.