With the horrific Veterans Administration scandal seeming to widen by the day, CNN’s Jake Tapper grilled White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough over President Obama’s usual posture in matters involving scandal: indifference, no one held accountable, and calculated outrage without any action.
As of now, President Obama is standing by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. This, despite the fact that in 2013, Republican Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, sent Obama a letter that, according to Tapper, warned “of dramatic problems at the VA, ‘a perfect illustration of the management failures, deception, lack of accountability permeating VA’s health care system, an alarming pattern of serious and significant patient care issues.'”
McDonough responded with platitudes and prepared talking points about the President standing by our veterans and increased funding. Tapper wasn’t having any of it. “How many dead veterans do you need before somebody asks the question within the White House, maybe this guy isn’t the best steward of these veterans?”
Transcript via RCP:
TAPPER: How many stories like this, how many letters like this, how many dead veterans do you need before somebody asks the question within the White House, maybe this guy isn’t the best steward of these veterans?
MCDONOUGH: The question, Jake, is, are we doing everything we can every day to get the veterans the care and the opportunities that they deserve?
TAPPER: But you are not. This letter was sent a year ago. And you guys ignored it.
MCDONOUGH: And we have been working aggressively to ensure that not only is health care expanded, opportunities made more ready to our vets, but that people are held to account, as Ric is doing in this case. We will continue to do that.
Jon Karl of ABC News, was also aggressive in the White House briefing room Friday. After Jay Carney spouted his talking points, Karl seemed dazed and a little disgusted by the White House spokesman’s happy talk dissembling.
Tapper and Karl are also two of only a handful of mainstream media reporters interested in getting to the truth about Benghazi – as opposed to undermining the search for the truth, which is something of which almost all of their colleagues are guilty.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC