Good news, citizens! All is well! The White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough sat down with Major Garrett on CBS this morning to clarify once and for all that the recent termination at the VA was absolutely not, in any way shape or form, even in the slightest, to be construed as as a scapegoat who was about to retire anyway taking the hit for the VA scandals. Video from Real Clear Politics:
DENIS MCDONOUGH: Well, Secretary Shinseki accepted Dr. Petzel’s resignation this afternoon. He was due to retire early next month and obviously there has been a nomination made for his replacement. I leave to Rick the explanation of his decision, but there is no question that this is a termination of his job there before he was planning to go.
MAJOR GARRETT, CBS NEWS: So the President is unhappy?
DM: I think… you heard what Secretary Shinseki said yesterday, which was that he’s mad as hell. And the President is madder than hell. And I’ve got the scars to prove it, given the briefings that I’ve given the President, the conversations that he and Rick and I have had on these matters. So is one step, as important as it is, like this one sufficient? We’ll continue to look at that. But at the same time that we’re looking at accountability we want to be able to continue to perform and provide our veterans the services that they have earned.
I’m not sure, but did we just hear a version of, what more do you want from us? We fired the guy. Nothing to see here, move along.
The President is madder than hell about something, but from the tone that McDonogh is taking, it sounds like it’s because he’s being distracted from
golfing his many other important duties. Still, they had to trot the Chief of Staff out for the Sunday rituals, so at least the situation seems to have his attention for now.