Peter Tolan, a former White House staffer who is now the executive director of the American Association of Retired Persons, has made some pretty incendiary comments about the American Retired Person’s Association, the association for retired Americans.
He made the remarks on Twitter on Friday morning, including one tweet that read, “Why should we pay for our own funeral and burial?
Why should we be in the business of making funeral arrangements for the dead.”
Tolan’s tweet sparked a furious response from former White Senate aides who accused him of being a “conspiracy theorist” who was trying to “create a rift” with the retired senior staff.
“The AARPA has been an absolute disaster, and they have gone to great lengths to make this organization dysfunctional,” former White Rep. Joe Biden told MSNBC.
“I’ve been to the AARPO meetings, and I can tell you that they have been nothing but a disaster.
They are basically the equivalent of a cult, and there is no room for them in the United States.”
Tolan was speaking at a panel titled “The Future of Retirement.”
In the video, he says, “You know, it’s like the death of an animal.
The people who are leading the death, they’re going to be the ones who pay the bills, because they’ve been paid for.
They don’t have to worry about it.”
“The idea that we would go out of our way to make it easier to bury the dead, I don’t think it’s fair,” he adds.
“There is no difference between what happens to a funeral and what happens in a funeral home.
It’s not that they’re not in the same boat as us, it just seems to me that they need to do it differently.”
Tolan’s comments drew swift backlash from some of his former colleagues on the Hill, who accused the former Whitehouse aide of being “a conspiracy theorist” and claiming he’s trying to divide the retired staff from the retiring president.
“He’s saying, ‘The American public doesn’t want this.
I can’t do it,'” former Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told MSNBC on Friday.
“He’s just making stuff up as he goes along.
He’s not trying to explain things to people, but he’s using his position to try to create a rift with retired people.
And if that happens, it will create some problems for the AARP and the other organizations that he’s criticizing.”
Tolan did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Politico on Friday afternoon.