Karl Questions White House Accountability Over VA Scandal

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ABC reporter Jonathan Karl and White House spokesman Jay Carney had another testy exchange Monday, with Karl challenging the White House’s notion of “accountability” over the Veteran’s Affairs scandal.

The exchange occurred over the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, the undersecretary for health in the VA, and the accusation that he was a scapegoat for the true people to blame for the VA’s massive woes.

“Jay, how can you suggest that his resignation comes as accountability when the VA put out a press release on Sept. 20 saying he was leaving? That’s almost eight months ago,” Karl said.

Cutting off Carney’s referral to the American Legion, Karl snapped, “I don’t care what the American Legion has to say. I’m asking what you have to say.”

“Well, I would point you to the American Legion, which obviously has a deep interest in this matter and has been reported on significantly by your network and others in terms of what they’ve said about this issue,” Carney said.

Full exchange:

JON KARL: Jay, how can you suggest that his resignation comes as accountability when the VA put out a press release on Sept. 20 saying he was leaving? That’s almost eight months ago.

JAY CARNEY: Jon, I would refer you to the American –

KARL: In fact his predecessor was nominated two weeks ago. I don’t care what the American Legion has to say. I’m asking what you have to say.

CARNEY: Well, I would point you to the American Legion, which obviously has a deep interest in this matter and has been reported on significantly by your network and others in terms of what they’ve said about this issue. And note that they look at Dr. Petzel’s resignation as, quote, a step towards addressing the leadership problem with the VA. I’ll leave it at that. Those are the words that they said.