President Obama is "madder than hell" over allegations of inadequate medical care for veterans but he will make sure that the problems are fixed, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said Sunday.
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki "continues to work this every single day," McDonough said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday, of the allegations that some medical facilities under the VA Department have forged data to cover delays for veterans to see doctors. "And he will continue to work these issues until they're fixed."
White House Correspondent Major Garrett asked if the embattled VA chief had the "full confidence" of the president, but the Obama aide didn't address the question.
Instead, McDonough said, "The president is madder than hell, and I've got the scars to prove it, given the briefings I've given the president. Nobody is more outraged about this problem, right now."
At last week's congressional testimony, Shinseki said he himself is "mad as hell" over the delays in veterans care, but many have called for his resignation.
McDonough, who did not indicate if Shinseki will be dismissed, said that while the White House is looking at accountability, "we want to continue to perform to provide our veterans the services that they have earned. … We're going to get to the bottom of those things, fix them and ensure that they don't happen again."
He added that the president "will continue to demand that he and all of us who work for him continue to fix these things until they are functioning the way that our veterans, believe they should and the way that, so that they get the, the services and the benefits that they have earned."
McDonough also said that an additional staff has been deployed to find out whether the problems are a "series of isolated cases or whether this is a systemic issue that we need to address with wholesale reform."
However, American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger, who wants the VA chief to step down, said the White House response has not been adequate.
"We realize that the administration has done a lot for the veterans. But that isn't the issue. The issue is we're having veterans die waiting for the care that they've earned," Dellinger told Garrett. "And it all goes back. And they keep talking about waiting for this study to be done. Well, there's been almost 50 IG reports, from our understanding, from what the (UNINTEL) testimony on Thursday that this has been an ongoing problem."