- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2014

The White House refused to say Thursday that President Obama still has confidence in Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki in the wake of a new report that shows health care was delayed for 1,700 veterans in Phoenix.

Asked several times whether Mr. Obama still supports Mr. Shinseki, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president “wants to see the results” of an internal VA audit.

“When he receives the internal audit, he’ll be able to evaluate those findings,” Mr. Carney said. “I’m just not going to speculate more about personnel.”


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Asked specifically whether Mr. Obama has confidence in Mr. Shinseki in light of the new findings about the expanded scope of the scandal, the president’s spokesman retreated to comments that Mr. Obama made a week ago about his embattled Cabinet member.

“He believes Secretary Shinseki has served his country and he believes he is committed to his fellow veterans,” Mr. Carney said. “He’s put his heart and soul into this thing.”

A growing number of congressional Democrats have joined Republicans in calling for Mr. Shinseki’s resignation. Those calls rose Wednesday after a preliminary Inspector General’s report said at least 1,700 military veterans waiting to see a doctor were never scheduled for an appointment and were never placed on a wait list at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Phoenix.

Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, stopped short of calling for Mr. Shinseki’s resignation Thursday.