President Donald Trump has singled out Montana’s senior Senator Jon Tester in tweets and statements castigating the senator for comments he made that resulted in the withdrawal of Ronnie Jackson for consideration as head of the Veterans Administration.

Two former Missoula legislators, both veterans, Andrew Person and Cliff Larsen, stood up for Tester.

“We feel that Senator Tester has fought really hard for veterans during his entire time in the Senate,” said Person, a veteran and former state legislator. “He’s got an incredible record of results across the state delivering for vets, and since he fought so hard for us, we wanted to show up and let folks know that we stood with him.”

Person detailed some of the legislation that Tester introduced to assist veterans.

“He led the way on expanding the VA clinic in Billings, and he recently secured funds for the veteran’s home in Butte,” he said. “He’s really pushed hard for VA funding across the board for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans leaving the service and coming back home.”

Cliff Larsen - State of Montana

Cliff Larsen, former state senator from District 50, echoed Person’s comments.

“Senator Tester has been a real bulldog in insuring that we improve services and access to service for military veterans,” said Larsen. “The idea was that Senator Tester was speaking in support of veterans when he challenged the appointment of the White House physician to be the director of the Veterans Administration. We support Senator Tester’s call on bringing Dr. Johnny out of the woods and really having him answer difficult questions. He couldn’t, obviously and he withdrew his nomination. We were in lock-step support of Senator Tester’s efforts as the ranking member of the Senate committee.”

There are reports that President Trump may be attempting to fit a visit to Montana into his summer schedule to campaign against Senator Tester.



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