JON KARL: Does the president have confidence in Secretary Shinseki?
JAY CARNEY: Jon, the president addressed this question from the podium.
KARL: He wasn't asked directly does he have 'confidence' in Sec. Shinseki.
CARNEY: The president believes that -- and is confident that Sec. Shinseki has served his nation admirably, heroically as a soldier, as a general, and that he has accomplished some very important things as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and I listed them, but they include extending education benefits, reducing veteran homelessness, and reducing the size of the backlog for disability claims while expanding vastly the number of veterans who can make a claim.
KARL: But does the president right now have confidence in Sec. Shinseki, yes or no, it's a very simple yes or no question. You told us last week he did have confidence, does he have confidence now?
CARNEY: What I would point you to is what the president said--
KARL: But he wasn't asked directly if he was confident.
CARNEY: I understand that, the wordplay here.
KARL: It's a basic question. It's not wordplay, its a central question: Does he have confidence in a member of his cabinet?
CARNEY: On the issue you are referring to when it comes to the revelations that have come to light about Phoenix and other veterans health centers, the president was deeply troubled by what we saw in the interim report from the inspector general, and he awaits the preliminary report from Sec. Shinseki from the internal audit that the secretary is conducting.