Time is running out for embattled Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, Newsmax White House correspondent John Gizzi says.
"The White House is very simply backing away from absolute support for Shinseki,'' Gizzi told Dennis Kneale, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"This is a little different from last week when the president … expressed confidence in the man he called Rick Shinseki and indicated there was no consideration for the secretary's forced retirement."
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But the last 48 hours have seen the commander-in-chief seem less than sure about the man responsible for the Veterans Administration, which is embroiled in a mushrooming healthcare scandal, according to Gizzi.
"When one starts hearing speculation about who will succeed the cabinet official and who just might be sitting at the cabinet table later, that's usually a sign the incumbent should consider packing his bags and cleaning out his desk,'' he said.
The scandal erupted with allegations that a VA facility in Phoenix kept chronically ill veterans on a secret waiting list, leading to the deaths of at least 40 of them. Other VA facilities have since been hit with similar accusations.
Gizzi made his comments during a Newsmax TV panel discussion with Rick Ungar, co-host of the SiriusXM radio show "Steele & Ungar,'' who agreed it looks bad for Shinseki.
"If you listen to what the president said last week, he did leave the door open pending the quote report unquote. We got the report, the report was disturbing to say the least. It only makes sense that he's gone,'' Ungar said.
He said whoever replaces Shinseki must be more than a bureaucratic manager.
"It can't just be somebody who's going to manage it day to day. It's got to be somebody who has the capability of ripping this thing up and putting it back together in a way that works," Ungar said.
"The VA tends to work reasonably well if you're already a part of the system, it's completely fallen apart when it comes to getting into the system.''
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