Transcript for White House Press Secretary Won't Say if Obama Has Confidence in VA Secretary Shinseki
Very simple yes or no question does the president have confidence -- secretary. John the president address this question I don't know actually did know who asked directly if your confidence in secretary of success the president believes. And is confident. -- -- he has served his nation admirably and heroically as a soldier. As a general. And that he has. Accomplish some very important things has. The secretary of veterans affairs and I listed them. But they include. Extending education benefits reducing veterans homelessness. And reducing the size of the backlog for disability claims while expanding vastly the number of veterans who. Can make -- -- But president right now I'm confident his assertions that yes or no it's -- very simple yes or plus. You told us last week he did have office does -- accomplish now. -- -- Would he -- was what the president said but he went -- -- a question mark Windsor exactly and I don't have. I don't on his words in this regard he talked but program was not directly. Your caucus I understand it. Such -- of the workplace here -- -- did. Place the workplace -- central question does your comments and honest and locally that you're referring to when it comes to. Revelations that have come to life about. Phoenix and other. Veterans. Health centers. The president. Was deeply troubled by. What we saw. You need. Interim report from inspector general and he. Awaits the preliminary report from separation sacking from the internal audit that the secretary is conducting with the assistance of roughly 200 individual. And you know he made clear to secretary -- last week and he makes clear as a general principle. To everyone who serves. This administration asserts -- country. That he. Believes in accountability but he also believes. First and foremost on this issue in the importance of making sure that we keep our eye on the ball which is making sure that our veterans. Are getting taking care of and that the focus is on them. And when there have been. When there's been a failure to do that -- timely manner we need to take action to fix that problem and focused principally on that. The accountability track if you will and proceed -- that's why -- inquiries investigations ongoing. But. As the president said from this podium last week he didn't want. Any delay in the VA taking action to address the identified problems and the need to get benefits and care to our better. On the metaphor front I have seen -- Quoted in different news organizations. Are saying this should -- keep quoting White House officials say consecutive on probation. What does it mean for his cabinet secretary you probation. Well I. Would urge you rather than go with what an unnamed official reportedly said to go instead list when he named official. So we are ready for what Barack Obama -- that way. And -- again. I just don't check this is a factual matter without resorting to metaphor. When he said I have said direct and I said it to him today I want to see what the results of these reports are and there's going to be accountability and I'm going to expect. Even before the reports are done that we are seeing significant improvement in terms of how the admissions process takes place in all of our VA health care facilities. I know he hears about it deeply and he has been a great public servant and a great warrior on behalf of the United States of America. We are going to work with him to solve the problem but I am going to make sure that there is accountability throughout the system after -- get the. Full report. So is that then he's anyways for the full report on his right his words for person. Wait until judges though it's IG report is going on its investigate 42 senators. Facilities in Iran and countries is grateful all at his home. Before he decides what others -- not -- -- -- preview predict more. Hypothesize about. The future here what I will tell you is that he has not received yet the preliminary report from the -- from the secretary. He has. Seen the interim report from the inspector general and I think. We -- pretty clearly what is reaction was -- that. And I think -- leave it at that I think -- his focus first and foremost is on the veterans it's not on. You know these issues which are also important when it comes to personnel accountability but he believes that in matters like this it's important to. Assemble. A decent accumulation of facts before making -- There's one more on this on the Democrats who -- -- consecutive resigned. If you look at the list includes crimes Udall bravely -- -- he -- Large number of Democrats or in potentially tough election twice this year and senate races. Why he thinks so many of these Democrats -- -- he's a tough race is just happened to be first call it. Yeah I I would refer you to all the individual lawmakers who have expressed concerns about. These matters as well as concerns about issues of personnel and I think many of them. Felt disturbed and troubled by. The initial allegations and then. More significantly by the preliminary. Report that the IG released yesterday. Putting -- -- but -- east India terror there obviously were Republicans. Including prominent ones to. I have reserve judgment on that issue and I'm not. I'm not gonna try to explain their views anymore than I would. Democratic lawmakers accepted I think that we are all. Or we all should be and I think many are both parties concerned about. -- benefits being provided necessarily provide to our veterans and making sure that they're getting health care. That they deserve -- yeah fashion the Irish emotional level from those that are. -- and I think that there's been outrage or concern. Deep concern from many quarters and that reflects. A general. Principal there. As a rule. We as a nation put party aside when it comes to the concern we have and the trust that is put in us to make sure that a benefit. Benefits us messed up those things but the concern we have for -- veterans and the sacred trust that we hold. That we feel we. Not to exercise when it comes to protecting -- veterans.
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