NationNation Now

White House: Obama 'madder than hell' about veterans care scandal

Veterans AffairsEric ShinsekiPoliticsWhite HouseU.S. Department of Veterans AffairsDenis R. McDonoughAmerican Legion
The president is madder than hell, and I've got the scars to prove it," White House chief says of VA scandal
Asked if VA Secretary Shinseki had the "full confidence" of Obama, Denis McDonough avoided the question.

With pressure mounting over the Veterans Affairs scandal, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said Sunday that President Obama was "madder than hell" over allegations of inadequate medical care for veterans.

But while McDonough voiced confidence in embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's ability to resolve the matter, he stopped short of offering a full vote of confidence.

Shinseki is facing numerous calls to step down amid complaints about long waiting times for treatment at VA medical facilities in several cities and attempts by VA employees to cover up the delays.

“Gen. Shinseki continues to work this every single day,” McDonough told CBS News’ White House Correspondent Major Garrett on "Face the Nation." “And he will continue to work these issues until they're fixed.”

Asked by Garrett if Shinseki had the “full confidence” of the president, McDonough avoided the question, saying only that Obama expected the VA chief to continue working to address the problems.

McDonough emphasized Obama’s anger and said the president was personally engaged.

“The president is madder than hell, and I've got the scars to prove it,” he said. “We're going to get to the bottom of those things, fix them and ensure that they don't happen again.”

Last week, Shinseki testified before Congress that he was "mad as hell" over reports of excessive waiting times for veterans and falsification of records.

McDonough said the White House has deployed additional staff at the VA to examine whether the problems are a “series of isolated cases or whether this is a systemic issue that we need to address with wholesale reform.”

Later in the program, American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger, who has called for Shinseki to step down, expressed disappointment in the White House response so far.

“We realize that the administration has done a lot for the veterans, but that isn't the issue,” Dellinger said. “The issue is we're having veterans die waiting for the care that they've earned.... And we hold Secretary Shinseki to the highest standards here. He should be coming forward with the same leadership he showed in the military as a four-star general into the VA. And it just hasn't happened.”

 

 

 

 


Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
Veterans AffairsEric ShinsekiPoliticsWhite HouseU.S. Department of Veterans AffairsDenis R. McDonoughAmerican Legion
  • White House intruder arrested after entering front doors
    White House intruder arrested after entering front doors

    An intruder scaled a White House fence and made it all the way into the building Friday evening before he was caught and wrestled to the ground by security officers, the Secret Service said. President Obama and his family had already left for Camp David when the incident occurred.

  • Man who killed daughter and grandchildren had violent past
    Man who killed daughter and grandchildren had violent past

    Don Spirit, a Florida grandfather who fatally shot his daughter Sarah Lorraine Spirit and six grandchildren before killing himself, had a long history of domestic violence — at one point pushing his pregnant daughter against a refrigerator and assaulting and threatening his former...

  • Rain pounds Texas: A sign the drought is ending?
    Rain pounds Texas: A sign the drought is ending?

    In Texas, where the governor once urged the public to pray for rain, this week’s torrential storms might finally be a sign of lasting relief for the state plagued by years of drought. Or maybe not.

  • For many in Congress, a first test on issues of war
    For many in Congress, a first test on issues of war

    Lawmakers' votes this week on whether or not to train and equip Syrian opposition forces in the fight against Islamic State were arguably the most consequential after nearly two years in which Congress is likely to set a new low for productivity.

  • Egyptian militant admits links to 1998 U.S. embassy bombings

    A longtime Egyptian militant with ties to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden admitted in federal court Friday that he had links to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, a surprise guilty plea that the judge sharply questioned because it reduces his prison time from a potential life sentence to...

  • Four takeaways from the vote in Congress to arm Syrian rebels
    Four takeaways from the vote in Congress to arm Syrian rebels

    What was supposed to be a no-drama final session of Congress before the campaign season turned into anything but as President Obama's new strategy to combat the threat from Islamic State resulted in a wrenching vote that is likely to reverberate through the midterm election and...

Comments
Loading