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U.S. presidential contender Donald Trump vows to fix veterans' care

U.S. presidential contender Donald Trump vows to fix veterans' care

  "We have illegal immigrants that are treated better, by far, than our veterans"

"We have illegal immigrants that are treated better, by far, than our veterans"

By Erin McPike for Reuters

U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump appealed to veterans on Tuesday by saying a Trump administration would let them go to private hospitals and see private doctors if the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to provide decent care.

In a 14-minute speech that had been billed as a major national security address, the real estate mogul chose a stage with the decommissioned battleship USS Iowa as a backdrop.

But he made only glancing references to Iran and did not mention the Islamic State group once. Instead, he used the venue to drive his crusade against illegal immigration and appeal to veterans, one day before the second televised debate between Republican contenders for the November 2016 election.

"We have illegal immigrants that are treated better, by far, than our veterans. That’s not going to happen anymore,” he said on a stage in front of three 16-inch guns on the battleship that was commissioned during World War II. It was donated to the city of Los Angeles three years ago and has since become a museum.

"We're going to create a whole new system. We're going to take this system apart," Trump vowed.

"And if they're not doing their job, the veterans are going to go to private doctors, private hospitals. We're going to reimburse those doctors and those hospitals, and you're going to get the greatest service of any veterans in any country because you deserve it."

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