Speaking out about the Veterans Affairs controversy, President Obama today said he "will not stand" for misconduct when it comes to health care for the nation's veterans.
The president called allegations of long treatment delays and preventable deaths "dishonorable" and "disgraceful" and said "I will not tolerate it. Period."
The president's comments came just moments after he met in the Oval Office with embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to receive an update on the controversy and investigation. They were joined by Rob Nabors, Obama's Deputy Chief of Staff, who has been assigned to assist with the review of the agency.
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The president announced he expects results of the initial review next week.
Obama's hastily announced statement in the briefing room comes several weeks after allegations first dominated national headlines that up to 40 veterans died while waiting for treatment at a VA hospital. Whistleblowers have alleged that a Phoenix VA hospital cooked their books to hide long delay times.
READ: Delays in Care Threaten Health and Safety of Veterans, New VA Whistleblower Says
Since then, the White House has dispatched Obama's top surrogates to publicly express the president's frustrations. Over the weekend, for instance, the president's chief of staff, Dennis McDonough, said his boss was "madder than hell" about the allegations.
The White House, however, has maintained that the president has full confidence in Shinseki.
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"Secretary Shinseki has presided over a VA that has significantly increased the access that veterans have to disability claims, significantly increased the number of veterans who are provided benefits, including health benefits, and has committed himself from the moment he was sworn into office to addressing the huge challenges that our growing population of veterans and the services that they need create for this country," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters earlier this week.
Obama on Allegations of VA Misconduct: 'I Will Not Stand for It'