Hagel 'sick to my stomach' over VA allegations - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Hagel 'sick to my stomach' over VA allegations

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expresses sadness over VA allegations but support of the department’s chief in a CNN interview. (Source: CNN) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expresses sadness over VA allegations but support of the department’s chief in a CNN interview. (Source: CNN)

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is weighing in on the controversy surrounding the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Last week, the VA said it was investigating 26 of its facilities over allegations they tried to hide how long veterans were being forced to wait for medical care.

On Monday, CNN's Jake Tapper asked Hagel what he thought about the alleged misconduct.

"It makes me sick to my stomach because it is clear the responsibility we have, as a country and as a people, to take care of these men and women and their families who sacrificed so much," Hagel said. "I know systems are imperfect, I get that, but when you've got...what we do know...and you're right; we need to get the facts. Let's see exactly what happened, how it happened, why it happened -- then we have to fix it, then we have to fix it."

Despite his unhappiness with the allegations toward the VA, Hagel said he still supports VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

"I think, let's get the facts here. Let's see what happened, how it happened, why it happened, who knew about it. But accountability, just as President Obama said, is the key here," Hagel said.

This weekend, President Obama also said more information was needed, but the president promised accountability if the allegations against the VA are true.

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