We all had to know this was coming with all of the calls from Democrats for Shinseki to step down: Obama Announces Eric Shinseki's Resignation:
President Barack Obama announced Friday that he has accepted Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation.
"This morning I think some of you also heard Rick take a truly remarkable action. In public remarks he took responsibility for the conduct of those facilities and apologized to his fellow veterans and to the American people," Obama said in a statement from the White House briefing room. "And a few minutes ago he offered me his own resignation. With considerable regret, I accepted."
Obama said he was grateful for Shinseki's service and explained that the VA secretary told him that new leadership needed to address the agency's systemic problems with access to care.
"He does not want to be a distraction, because his priority is to fix the problem and make sure our vets are getting the care they need. That was Rick's judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans. And I agree," he said. "We don't have time for distractions. We need to fix the problem."
Deputy VA secretary Sloan Gibson will be taking over for Shinseki until a permanent replacement is confirmed. Shinseki gave a statement of his own prior to the announcement: Shinseki Apologizes as 'Serious Talk' With Obama Looms:
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized Friday for what he called "irresponsible and unacceptable" practices at VA health care facilities and announced that he has started the process of firing leadership at the Phoenix facility at the epicenter of the scandal.
"Given the facts I now know, I apologize as the senior leader of the Department of Veterans Affairs," he said at a meeting of the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans in Washington D.C.
"I cannot explain the lack of integrity among some of the leaders of our health care facilities," he said. "This is something I rarely encountered during 38 years in uniform. And so I will not defend it, because it is indefensible, but I can take responsibility for it and I do."
The remarks came before President Barack Obama was to meet with Shinseki "to receive an update on the situation at the Department of Veterans Affairs."