President Talks About Reported VA Problems
(Washington, D.C.) “I will not stand for it,” President Barack Obama said Wednesday when it comes to allegations of misconduct at VA hospitals.
During a new conference, President Obama said he understands the public wants a “swift reckoning” in the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal, but he asked for time to allow the investigation into allegations of cooked books to run its course.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is committed to solving the department’s problems, Obama added, but it has been made clear to him that there will be accountability throughout the VA system.
Under criticism for failing to act on a growing controversy, President Barack Obama met Wednesday with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki about the controversy over cooked books that covered up deadly delays for veterans to receive care.
President Obama had a meeting this morning that included Rob Nabors, his deputy chief of staff assigned to review what is happening at VA facilities across the country.
Obama has not publicly addressed the controversy in nearly three weeks since first commenting on the matter during a trip to Asia.
CNN reported last month that in Phoenix, the department used fraudulent record-keeping — including secret lists — that covered up excessive waiting periods for veterans, with some dying in the process.
White House spokesman Jay Carney stepped around questions Tuesday about when Obama learned of the depth of the Department of Veterans Affairs problems.
In a new development on Wednesday, CNN learned that the Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman — who was placed on administrative leave because of the reported problems — received a bonus of $8,495 in April, which was in addition to the 2013 bonus she received, according to the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs.
Meanwhile, the number of VA facilities under investigation has expanded to 26, the agency’s Office of Inspector General said Tuesday.
Last week, the inspector general told a Senate committee that 10 facilities were being investigated.
Nabors, who is aiding Shinseki with a review of the allegations, will head to Phoenix on Wednesday night to interview the VA office’s interim director and visit the facility.