According to David Farenthold of the Washington Post, corruption in the Veterans’ Administration began with the Warren Harding administration. In 1921, Harding nominated a poker buddy, Charles Forbes, as head the VA. Forbes created a scandal that tainted Harding. Harding responded with vigor:
In 1923, a White House visitor opened the wrong door and found Harding choking Forbes with his bare hands.
“You yellow rat! You double-crossing bastard!” Harding was saying, according to historians. When he noticed the visitor, he let go of Forbes’s neck.