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Top aide says Obama 'madder than hell' about veterans allegations

Obama 'Madder Than Hell' Over Veterans Issues, Aide Says
(Reuters) - White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said President Barack Obama is "madder than hell" about possible deadly healthcare delays at the Department of Veterans Affairs and is determined to investigate and fix any flaws in the system.

"We're going to get to the bottom of those things, fix them and ensure that they don't happen again," McDonough said on CBS's "Face the Nation" in an interview aired on Sunday.

The allegations that delays in treatment at veterans hospitals could have led to otherwise preventable deaths has sparked a growing political scandal, including calls for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

A top department official, Undersecretary of Health Dr. Robert Petzel, resigned on Friday in a move critics said was an effort at damage control. But McDonough sidestepped questions about whether Shinseki had Obama's full confidence.

"The president will continue to demand that he and all of us who work for him continue to fix these things until they are functioning the way that our veterans believe they should," McDonough said.

Petzel's resignation came a day after he appeared alongside Shinseki at a congressional hearing about accusations that VA medical facilities in Phoenix covered up long wait times for patients, including 40 who died while awaiting care.

Dr. Sam Foote, a whistleblower in the VA case, said on "Fox News Sunday" that Petzel's resignation was "a great first step". He said there was no way officials in Washington did not know of the issue.

"They knew this was a big problem," he said, adding he believed Shinseki should stay in his job to keep the focus on fixing the problem.

"I think our best bet at this point is to keep the secretary on board. But I think the president needs to keep him on a pretty short leash," Foote said.

The VA has put three senior officials in Phoenix on administrative leave after doctors there said they were ordered to hold veterans' names for months on a secret waiting list until a spot opened up on an official list that met the agency's two-week waiting time goals.

Allegations have been reported about similar cover-up schemes at VA medical facilities in at least seven other cities. The agency runs the largest U.S. healthcare group, overseeing some 1,700 hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other facilities.

(Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Jim Loney)

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ktlb4 May 18 2014 at 7:06 PM

This is the kind of care we will all be receiving under Obamacare, so why is he complaining? We will all get equally HORRIBLE care.

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3 replies
kiick23 May 18 2014 at 11:46 PM

I don't believe caring about American military personnel or holding American military personnel in high regard has ever been a top priority for Mr Obama dating back to the moment he came out of his mothers womb. My honest opinion.

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4 replies
jalls May 18 2014 at 7:08 PM

You mean...like he was about the IRS scandal?????

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1 reply
hanlon1212 jalls May 18 2014 at 7:15 PM

fake scandal. # 3 .

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ssantoresr May 18 2014 at 7:08 PM

This President is a jackass. Who is he kidding that there will be anyone accountable. Just look at his past record.

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Jim Edwards May 18 2014 at 7:09 PM

Yea, he'll fix it like he did Bengazi. Right. The jackass is just talking crap as always.

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1 reply
hanlon1212 Jim Edwards May 18 2014 at 7:14 PM

Bush had 15 times as many killed ( 60 ) in embassy attacks

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1 reply
bahnstr hanlon1212 May 20 2014 at 9:34 PM

Keep drinking the Kool Aid hanlon...those claims were all refuted. Just admit it...you're a hack for obama

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oldknight May 19 2014 at 8:07 AM

Obama is going to "get to the bottom of this." Uh huh. He says that a lot doesn't he....the arrogant ass has almost destroyed this country.

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jmyers6670 May 18 2014 at 8:31 PM

He's always mad about something that he's in charge of, but has no clue about... until he 'reads in the paper that it's broken'. Then we hear one more time how he's going to "fix" something that he should have run properly to begin with. Will his blind supporters ever get tired of his repetitive phony indignation?

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imatoolman May 19 2014 at 8:02 AM

Not on my watch
The mans a Joke

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1 reply
jgarvale imatoolman May 19 2014 at 8:11 AM

"Unacceptable" was the same term this President used after Benghazi and the IRS scandals and look where those investigations have gone!

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jaybeach8 May 19 2014 at 9:54 AM

Yeah. He's madder n hell he got CAUGHT, that's what he is.

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2 replies
sealtheborder11 jaybeach8 May 19 2014 at 9:56 AM

Just like the cheater and liar Clinton........mad he was caught, not mad at himself for being slime...........

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The Hands' jaybeach8 May 19 2014 at 10:01 AM

oh my god you people who think that Obama is responsible for every little thing that goes wrong in this country make me sick! Like gas prices...for the the ten BILLIONTH time, the President does not control gas prices! While don't you morons do some research before you start slinging accusations around? Idiots!

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2 replies
sealtheborder11 The Hands' May 19 2014 at 10:04 AM

Funny.......It was YOU LIBS who said BUSH was behind high gas prices in 2007, stating big paydays for his oil buddies..........but now somehow mysteriously obamammaa has no responsibility for gas prices???????......Please make you your mind and come back, the duplicity of the LIBS is a laughing stock...........BTW obamamaa is personally responsible for the MESS he created under his administration..........

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jrb359 The Hands' May 19 2014 at 10:07 AM

Who is responsible for growing the size of government? With a big bloated government you get corruption, intrusion, and inefficiency!

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auntlesliew May 19 2014 at 10:33 AM

"We're going to get to the bottom of those things, fix them and ensure that they don't happen again,"

How many times have we heard this? And nothing is ever done.

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