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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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2 replies
Linda kiick23 May 18 2014 at 11:51 PM

And since you know absolutely NOTHING unless you were a close friend or relative---you are a freakin mess

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2 replies
Rickrak Linda May 18 2014 at 11:56 PM

You are obviously not paying attention. Are you just a devout Obama follower and dont care about facts?

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kiick23 Linda May 19 2014 at 12:11 AM

Since Obama's Kenyan Muslim father saw the American miltary as an imperilaist arm of American colonialist depravity rather than the savior of the world it has been since December 7th 1941 and
with a mother who was a communist acolyte of Soviet leadership it's no shock that young Barry
grew up with certain attidudes regarding the American miltary further enforced in his adult years by the rants of his Reverend Wright. The facts speak for themselves and without CAPS, personal attacks and drooling.

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Thom kiick23 May 19 2014 at 12:00 AM

This is very true. During his campaigning for his office it is known that there were to be no photos of him with anyone in either a military or a law enforcement uniform. And, of course, no one is truthfully saying in which country which country his mother resided at the time of his birth.

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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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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
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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1 reply
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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gamay9 jaybeach8 May 19 2014 at 10:10 AM

jaybeach8: Actually, he got caught up. He knew he wasn't ready to hold a high political office, much less president, but he was drafted by special interest groups. He got plenty of help from white, far left-wing, bleeding heart liberals, who adore black people. Don't blame Obama. Most people would like to be president, even if they know they don't qualify.

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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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jerrywmalcolm May 18 2014 at 7:10 PM

lets hope he dosen't fix it like everything else he does

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1 reply
hanlon1212 jerrywmalcolm May 18 2014 at 7:13 PM

Yeah , Republicons just hate when President does good for America .

They miss their Traitor / War Criminal.

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1 reply
you sweet thing hanlon1212 May 18 2014 at 7:19 PM

I don't know where you have been, hanlon, but you are living in obama's economy and we have nothing but bad news all around. This is as good as it is ever going to get until he is out of office.

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