Obama Again Claims He 'Just Learned' about a Scandal from TV

Obama Again Claims He 'Just Learned' about a Scandal from TV

Once again, the Obama administration is claiming that it has “just learned” from television about a scandal engulfing his administration: the Veterans Administration scandal.

On the same day that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney claimed that President Obama and his office were never informed about the growing scandal of secret wait lists at the Veterans Administration, lists that are being blamed for the deaths of up to 40 veterans who were denied healthcare services, other information emerged proving that Obama was told about this problem up to five years ago.

During Monday’s press conference, Carney responded to a question about when the Obama learned about the VA scandal, and Carney claimed it was only last week when TV reports surfaced.

“We learned about them through the reports. I will double check if that is not the case. But that is when we learned about them and that is when I understand Secretary Shinseki learned about them, and he immediately took the action that he has taken,” Carney said.

But uncovered documents reportedly found that authorities in Washington knew about this scandal at the end of the Bush administration and that news of the problem was re-transmitted to Obama after his election in 2008, that Obama’s administration has been fully informed about this problem during his entire presidency, and nothing has been done about it.

This claim that Obama only learned about a scandal by watching news reports on TV is a common refrain for this President. 

He made this claim when the IRS scandal involving the agency’s harassment of conservative groups erupted and started airing on TV. “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this,” he said on May 13, 2013. “I think it was on Friday. And this is pretty straightforward.”

He made the same claim in 2011 when news of Fast And Furious, the FBI’s failed gun walking program, a program responsible for the deaths of many Mexicans and several American agents, went viral. “There have been problems, you know,” he said. “I heard on the news about this story that–Fast and Furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico, and ATF knew about it, but didn’t apprehend those who had sent [the guns].”

So few people believed Obama’s claim that he only learned about the IRS targeting scandal by watching TV that Saturday Night Live ridiculed him for it.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.