Last week, after meeting with Eric Shinseki President Obama stood by the embattled Veterans Affairs secretary amid the ongoing controversy over the department’s mismanagement. On Thursday, as a recent inspector general’s report further revealed problems at a Phoenix hospital, the president’s spokesman isn’t saying one way or the other whether Obama still supports Shinseki.
During his daily press briefing, Jay Carney dodged a repeated “yes-or-no question” from ABC’s Jon Karl: “Does the president, right now, have confidence in Eric Shinseki? You told us last week he did have confidence — does he have confidence now?”
At first, Carney praised Shinseki’s overall tenure as secretary, as well as his time as a general. As Carney’s answers failed to suffice, Karl repeatedly pressed for a direct answer.
“What I would point you to is what the president said when asked about his view on Secretary Shinseki, and I’m not going to improve upon his words in this regard,” Carney said, adding that the White House will wait until the findings of the investigation next month before taking action.