First it was Fast and Furious, next it was the IRS scandal and now it’s the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). What do they have in common? President Barack Obama claims he learned of these scandals as the rest of us did, from watching TV.
Despite the fact that the VA dysfunction has been a known problem since the Bush administration, no one has thought to do something about it — that is, until TV reports surfaced of secret wait lists of veterans denied healthcare, which were concealed to make the official records look clean.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday, “We learned about them through the reports. I will double check if that is not the case. But that is when we learned about them and that is when I understand Secretary Shinseki learned about them, and he immediately took the action that he has taken.”
Breitbart notes that documents show “authorities in Washington knew about this scandal at the end of the Bush administration and that news of the problem was re-transmitted to Obama after his election in 2008, that Obama’s administration has been fully informed about this problem during his entire presidency.”
This wasn’t the first time TV allegedly gave the White House its initial intel on a certain scandal. In fact, it’s becoming a pattern.
“I heard on the news about this story that–Fast and Furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico, and ATF knew about it, but didn’t apprehend those who had sent [the guns],” President Obama said in 2011.
“I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this,” Obama also said of the IRS scandal back on May 13th of 2013. “I think it was on Friday. And this is pretty straightforward.”
Comedians, especially Jon Stewart, have been critical of the entire handling of the VA scandal, while National Journal’s Ron Fournier has termed it “an insulting-public relations strategy” on the part of the White House.