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President Obama Accepts VA Secretary's Resignation

Embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki tendered his resignation today to President Obama, the president announced at the White House.

"He does not want to be a distraction," Obama said. "That was Ric's judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans."

The president announced that Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson will serve as acting Secretary.

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Obama and Shinseki met face-to-face at the White House Friday morning.

Earlier in the day, Shinseki addressed a homeless veterans advocacy group and apologized for the scandal over veterans' wait times for health care and said he was surprised by the "lack of integrity" some VA officials had displayed, announcing a series of actions he's taken since the release of Wednesday's interim findings by the Veterans Affairs Administration's inspector-general investigation.

"I apologize as the senior leader of the Department of Veterans Affairs," Shinseki said.

"I can't explain the lack of integrity among the leaders of some of our health care facilities," Shinseki told the group, calling it something he "rarely encountered" during his time in uniform.

President Obama, in an interview with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, hosts of ABC's "Kelly and Michael," that aired today said: "I don't want any veteran to not be getting the kind of services they deserve."

But the president also had some praise for the embattled VA secretary: "I will say that Eric Shinseki is a American hero, wounded vet, somebody who lead our troops during very difficult times and cares about veterans more than just about anybody I know."

ABC's Chris Good and Devin Dwyer contributed reporting.
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