President Obama addressed the press on Wednesday after meeting with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki about the recent scandal swirling around the Veterans Affairs Department.
Addressing the reports of misconduct by VA officials, Obama vowed that he would get to the bottom of the alleged behavior. “If these allegations prove to be true it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful and I will not tolerate it. Period,” he said.
“Taking care of veterans and their families has been one of the causes of my presidency and it is something that all of us have to be involved with and have to be paying attention to,” he claimed.
Obama did not offer particular solutions to the veterans backlog problems, which he explained had gone on for years. He also indicated that he would stand by Shinseki throughout the investigation process.
“You know the responsibility for things always rests ultimately with me as the president and commander in chief,” Obama said, calling Shinseki a “great soldier.”
Obama did not announce Shinseki’s resignation but left the possibility open when questioned by reporters.
“I know Ric’s attitude is that if he does not think he is able to do a good job on this and if he thinks that he let our veterans down then I’m sure that he’s not going to be interested in continuing to serve,” Obama said.
“Nobody cares about our veterans more than Ric Shinseki,” Obama insisted.
Obama reminded reporters that the system was overloaded after a “decade of war” and pointed out that he was working to get as many veterans covered as possible.