Fact check: Kamala Harris quote about shutting down Veterans Affairs originated from satire website - Reuters

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Social media users have been sharing a quotation falsely attributed to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, saying that veterans should learn to support themselves and she plans to shut down the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and take away soldier welfare, giving the money to refugee families. The quotation appears to stem from a satire website and the Vice President’s press secretary confirmed to Reuters that the quotation does not belong to Harris.
“Comment from Kamala regarding VA facilities. “The United States government cannot continue to pay for the every need of what has become a special class citizen. Veterans are equal to us, not better than. Veterans Affairs coddles them […] Within these next four years, we will be shuttering the VA, taking away soldier welfare. The money saved will go to better use in assisting refugee families. […] So, here’s a message to the soldier boys. Get a job.”,” reads part of the quote shared in the social media posts. Captions and comments show the users are taking the quote seriously including, “That’s what you Democrats voted for. Are you HAPPY???? Because We The People Are NOT” (here); “OK, NOW I’M PISSED!!!”(here  ,  here) ; “THIS MAKES ME SICK. To all my military and VA family and friends. This is what they have planned for you.” (here)
Sabrina Singh, Deputy Press Secretary for the Vice President, told Reuters via email that Harris never said this. Reuters could not find any evidence of these remarks on Harris’ social media channels, in ProPublica’s “Politwoops” archive, which tracks deleted tweets (here) , in any media reports, nor on the White House website which archives statements, releases, speeches and remarks made by Harris and the Biden administration (here) .
The quote appears to have originated on the satire website “America’s Last Line of Defense”, in an article titled “Military-Hating Kamala Wants To Shut Down the VA” where the exact same quote appears, as seen here  . The article is in a folder called “Kamala Spanking Satire”, the tagline of the website is “Satire for your confirmation bias” and the website describes itself as “a network of parody, satire and tomfoolery,” adding “Everything on this website is fiction.” (here)
On Feb. 13, ahead of Valentine’s Day, Vice President Harris delivered coffee and cookies to healthcare workers at the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C., with Kari McDonough and her husband, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Denis McDonough (here  ,  here), as seen in Reuters photos herehere  ,  here  and  here  .
While running for president in September 2019, Harris wrote a blog post, visible here  , where she promised that by the end of her first term the VA would expand access to health care and housing assistance available to veterans with “other-than-honorable” discharges and to homeless veterans, amongst other promises designed to better support veterans (here) .
Reuters recently debunked another false quote attributed to Harris about the military (here) .
False. The quote originates from a website that clearly labels itself as satire and declares that everything on it is fiction.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here  .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.


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