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(CNN) - He promised accountability and swift action, but he's not firing Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki – yet.
President Barack Obama sought to tamp down increasing calls for firm action on a growing controversy involving fraudulent record-keeping that covered up excessive and sometimes deadly waiting times for veterans at some VA facilities.
In a statement to reporters after meeting with Shinseki, Obama asked for more time to review what is going on, declaring that any proven misconduct will face punishment.
"If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period," he said in his first public comments in weeks on the issue first reported by CNN last month.
Noting the public wants a "swift reckoning" on the VA issue, Obama instead defended the record of his administration and Shinseki - a retired Army general who has served as Veteran Affairs secretary throughout Obama's presidency.