The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Richard Simon, Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki offered an apology and accepted responsibility for the VA mess Friday morning.

“I can’t explain the lack of integrity among some of the leaders in our healthcare facilities,” he said, speaking to a conference on homeless veterans.

“This is something I rarely encountered during 38 years in uniform.”

Shinseki announced steps he was taking to address the instances where VA staff covered up long waiting times for care, including removing senior leaders at the Phoenix VA, suspending any bonuses for this year, contacting each of the 1,700 veterans who were kept off a waiting list in Phoenix “to bring them the care they need and deserve,” and calling for congressional passage of legislation that would expand the VA secretary’s authority to fire or demote senior staff for poor performance.

“This situation can be fixed,” he said.

Shinseki is due to meet Friday with President Barack Obama amid growing bipartisan calls for his resignation.

Shinseki acknowledged that the problems are systemic at VA. “Given the facts I now know, I apologize as the senior leader of the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

Shinseki said that when he first heard reports of the problems, he thought they were isolated. “I no longer believe it. It is systemic.”

Photo: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs via Flickr

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Chuck Todd

Photo by U.S. National Archives (Public domain)

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

Surveying the media landscape and seeing a Beltway press corps that's constantly on the run from Republican attacks, Meet The Press moderator Chuck Todd this week urged his colleagues to stand up to the right-wing bullies, who have spent decades demonizing journalists.

Keep reading... Show less

Former President Trump takes a phone call in the Oval Office.

Photo by The White House

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump was relentless in his efforts to overturn the presidential election. Although he has adamantly insisted that his actions were not an attempt at a coup, there is reportedly evidence indicating that it was. According to The Daily Beast, details have been revealed about Trump's phone call that may have led to the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol.

Keep reading... Show less
x

Close