Obama: Shinseki Is Out at VA

Says embattled department chief offered his resignation

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 30, 2014 10:29 AM CDT | Updated May 30, 2014 10:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Eric Shinseki is out as leader of the VA. President Obama today said he accepted the Cabinet secretary's resignation "with regret" in the wake of the scandal over shoddy medical care for the nation's veterans, reports CNN. Obama said Shinseki told him he didn't want to be a distraction as the department begins its reforms. Earlier today, Shinseki himself apologized for the VA's "systemic" problems and announced that he was firing the top officials at the hospital in Phoenix, perhaps the worst offender.

"He has worked hard to investigate and identify the problem," Obama said of Shinseki, who faced a drumbeat of calls for his resignation from lawmakers in both parties. The president called the four-star general a "good man," but said Shinseki "felt like new leadership would serve our veterans best, and I agree with him." The New York Times observes that Shinseki seemed intent on staying on, "but his contrition and promises of action came too late to save his job."

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki speaks at a meeting of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans in Washington Friday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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