Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | VA Scandal | Peter Hoekstra | Obama | VA | Shinseki

Hoekstra: Shinseki Resignation Gives Obama Cover for 'Terrible Week'

Friday, 30 May 2014 02:54 PM

By Courtney Coren

President Barack Obama needed Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign because he needs "to change the narrative" after his administration had a "terrible week," says former Michigan congressman and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra.

"Last weekend, he started with the White House leaking out the information, compromising the station chief, the CIA chief, in Afghanistan – a huge blunder by the White House," Hoekstra told J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Friday.

"Wednesday night you had Edward Snowden doing an hour interview, which reminds the American people not only of the things that were going on at NSA that they didn't like, but that under this president we had the most massive breach of intelligence information in the history of the world," he added.

Story continues below video.

"You then saw this week that the economic numbers were adjusted so that we actually in the first quarter this year had a 1 percent economic decline, contraction in our economy," Hoekstra explained further.

"And then you put on the continuing saga of the VA," the Michigan Republican said. "The president had to do something to try to change the narrative."

Obama accepted Shinseki's resignation Friday morning, saying that he didn't want the VA secretary's presence to be a distraction for the department.

Prior to the resignation, Shinseki issued an apology for the scandal in which VA hospitals across the country were allegedly keeping secret wait lists to make it look like patients were not waiting more than the 14-day required period to receive care, when in fact they were sometimes waiting for months. Forty VA patients in Phoenix reportedly died while waiting to see a doctor at the VA hospital there.

Hoekstra contends that because of the "bad news" surrounding the Obama administration, "vulnerable Democrats in the House and the Senate" are running "from this president in unbelievable numbers."

The conservative group Crossroads GPS recently used the VA scandal in a political ad against Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, which Hoekstra warns Republicans against doing.

"You've always got to be careful in overplaying your hand," he said. "The facts here will speak for themselves — you don't need to overplay it politically."

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