Here We Go Again: WH Says They First Heard of VA Failures Through News Reports

by Andrew Johnson

The White House says that it first heard about the waiting-list scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs like much of the rest of the American public: from television news reports.

During Monday’s daily press briefing, press secretary Jay Carney told CNN’s Jim Acosta that the president and his staff were first made aware of the scandal through his network’s coverage of the matter.

The White House has said similar things regarding other controversies involving the administration, including the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS and the Department of Justice’s monitoring of reporters.

“I believe we learned about [the deaths on VA waiting lists] through the reports,” Carney said Monday. “I’ll double-check if that’s not the case, but that’s when we learned about them.”

The administration and VA secretary Eric Shinseki have since taken action to address the matter, Carney said.