Charles Krauthammer said Thursday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki will ultimately face reckoning over the scandal at a Phoenix VA medical center because “the veterans issue is the only one where you can't stonewall."
"There's so much outrage on both sides of the aisle," Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor, said.
Shinseki delivered his first public testimony since the scandal broke on Thursday before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Facing a contingent of angry lawmakers' questions about the burgeoning controversy, and allegations that as many as 40 veterans died waiting for treatment at the Phoenix facility alone, Shinseki said “any allegation, any adverse incident like this makes me mad as hell."
Krauthammer said that Shinseki will have to provide decisive action, not just angry words.
“There's so much pressure on any politician to protect the veterans, as they should, that they will not allow the usual stonewall where the guys says: 'I'm mad as hell, I'm very upset, how can this be happening under my command' and then what they say is 'well, this is all under investigation, so I can't really answer your questions,'" he said.
Citing previous Obama administration reactions to scandals, Krauthammer noted one key area where the VA scandal differs.
“This is the playbook they did with IRS, the Benghazi scandal, the eavesdropping scandal with the AP and (Fox News correspondent James) Rosen, but this is how they would like to do it," he said. "And after all that, you say, uh, after the investigations are conducted, its already a year down the road, you say 'hey, dude, it happened two years ago, so who cares?' But in this issue they're not going to get away with it. Democrats are on this and that's the reason it's going to go very far.”