Dempsey suspects some VA allegations are true
By Mario Trujillo - 05/25/14 11:42 AM EDT
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday said he suspects some of the allegations surrounding the Department of Veterans Affairs will be proven true, and that someone will eventually have take responsibility for the entire VA.
"Yeah, of course," Gen. Martin Dempsey said on ABC's "This Week" when asked if VA Secretary Eric Shinseki should be held accountable.
"At some point, the chief executive, the chairman, whoever it is, has to take responsibility for the entire organization and its performance."
The department is facing criticism of long wait times for veterans and some facilities are accused of falsifying reports to make it appear veterans received care faster than they did.
"It is outrageous if the allegations actually are documented and proven," he said. "And I suspect some of them will be. They've got be held accountable. I think [Eric] Shinseki has made it clear that they will be held accountable."
Reports last month suggested nearly 40 veterans died while on a secret wait list at a Phoenix VA clinic, though it is not clear if the deaths were a result of the long wait time. Since then, allegations of similar mismanagement have surfaced around the country and the inspector general is investigating at least 26 facilities.
President Obama held a press conference in which he vowed to make sure there is accountability through the system.
Former White House senior adviser David Plouffe defended Obama on Sunday, asserting the president did not wait too long to speak.
"No. I don't think so," he said, noting that veteran satisfaction with the VA, for the most part, is high.
“There is going to be a thorough investigation,” he said. “But I think the question really is: 'Do you have confidence in the leadership?' Not just in terms of what happened previously, but the fixes going forward.”