Author Archive

Isaac Arnsdorf

Reporter

Isaac Arnsdorf covers national politics. His reporting on President Trump's agenda for veterans won the Sidney Hillman Foundation's Sidney Award and the National Press Club's Sandy Hume Award, and was an honorable mention for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting.
Isaac Arnsdorf covers national politics. His reporting on President Trump's agenda for veterans won the Sidney Hillman Foundation's Sidney Award and the National Press Club's Sandy Hume Award, and was an honorable mention for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting.
Management

Thousands of Small Business Owners Have Not Gotten Disaster Loans the Government Promised Them

A top official said 99% of funds were paid, but only 55% of small business owners reported receiving the money. Borrowers were told there was a technical glitch, but the Small Business Administration would not answer questions about it.

Oversight

Trump Friends and Family Cleared for Millions in Small Business Bailout

Beneficiaries of the PPP included a lettuce farming venture backed by Trump’s son, Kushner companies, and a dentist who golfs with the president. The figures were released after a lawsuit by several news organizations, including ProPublica.

Management

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Buddy Used His 'Shadow' Sway Over the VA to Promote His Comic Book Empire

Marvel chief Ike Perlmutter arranged for comic book characters to ring the NYSE closing bell with the VA secretary in 2017, according to a new government audit. Perlmutter has denied benefiting from his role as an informal adviser to President Trump.

Management

Contractors for Trump’s Controversial $3 Billion Food Aid Program Have Hired a Longtime Lobbyist to Tout Their Work

Lawmakers are asking why some federal contractors in Trump’s food aid program apparently lack qualifications to deliver the goods. Companies hired a consultant to tell positive stories.

Oversight

Wedding Planner, Caterer, 'Brand Builder': Trump’s Food Aid Program Is Paying $100+ Million to Unlicensed Dealers

Contractors with no experience in food distribution are looking for suppliers on Facebook while some food banks scramble to find desperately needed deliveries.

Oversight

Did He Talk About Her? VA Secretary Changes His Story Amid Allegations He Sought Dirt on House Staffer.

Robert Wilkie is under investigation after a complaint that he sought information to discredit a House staffer who said she was sexually assaulted in a VA hospital. Wilkie denied discussing her with Rep. Dan Crenshaw. But an email indicates he did.

Oversight

Trump Removed the Head of the Coronavirus Bailout Oversight Board. Its Members Could Be Next.

Democrats are scrambling to stop the president from replacing independent government watchdogs after he quickly pushed aside the leader of coronavirus bailout oversight.

Management

The Trump Administration Is Leaving the Nation’s Emergency Backup Hospital System on the Sidelines

Leaders at the Department of Veterans Affairs say they are ready to answer the call to assist HHS or FEMA. But the call has not come.

Management

House Democrats Probe Faulty Test Kits’ Role in Delaying Coronavirus Response

The House Oversight Committee cited ProPublica’s reporting in requesting documents from the Trump administration.

Management

Key Missteps at the CDC Have Set Back Its Ability to Detect the Potential Spread of Coronavirus

The CDC designed a flawed test for COVID-19, then took weeks to figure out a fix so state and local labs could use it. New York still doesn’t trust the test’s accuracy.

Workforce

VA Secretary Under Investigation After Complaint He Looked for Dirt on a House Staffer Who Said She’d Been Assaulted

The agency’s internal watchdog told lawmakers about the probe after ProPublica unearthed the allegations against Secretary Robert Wilkie.

Management

Trump Endorsed a Risky Antidepressant for Veterans. Lawmakers Want to Know if His Mar-a-Lago Pals Had a Stake in the Drugmaker.

House Democrats requested emails and financial records as they investigate why the president told the VA to “corner the market” on a Johnson & Johnson drug.

Defense

Trump’s New Spy Chief Failed to Report $100,000 from a Group Funded by Hungary

Richard Grenell’s past clients could raise concerns about his access to state secrets, according to his own office’s rules.

Defense

Trump’s New Spy Chief Worked for a Foreign Politician Accused by the U.S. of Corruption

Richard Grenell did not disclose payments for advocacy work on behalf of a Moldovan politician whom the U.S. later accused of corruption. His own office’s policy says that could leave him vulnerable to blackmail.

Management

VA Secretary Looked for Dirt on a House Staffer Who Reported Sexual Assault in a VA Hospital, Complaint Says

VA chief Robert Wilkie called a House policy advisor’s assault allegation “unsubstantiated” even though an independent investigation found it was not.

Management

How Donald Trump Turned to a Comics Titan to Shape the VA

In a new book and an interview with ProPublica, former VA Secretary David Shulkin describes how Marvel Entertainment’s Ike Perlmutter and two associates with no government experience exerted influence over millions of veterans.

Oversight

Trump’s USDA Is Letting Factories With Troubling Safety Records Slaughter Chickens Even Faster

Workers are getting injured, but the Department of Agriculture says their safety is not its responsibility.

Management

'No Comment': Emails Show the VA Took No Action to Spare Veterans From a Harsh Trump Immigration Policy

The VA’s approach differs sharply from the Pentagon’s, which won an exemption for active-duty members of the military.

Management

Trump’s VA Firing Spree Falters in Court

Rather than defend a law that the president loves, the VA will reinstate a hospital director whom it twice tried to fire.