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Sen. Kirk and Hines VA whistleblower press conference today

WASHINGTON–Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill. is hosting a press conference featuring a Hines VA whistleblower, an employee by the name of Germaine Carno, at 1 p.m. CT Friday at Kirk’s Loop Senate office in the Kluczynski Federal Building. This comes as President Barack Obama added to his schedule a meeting this morning with embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to discuss a VA internal audit in the wake of the health care scandal.

So far, 11 Democratic Senators have called for Shinseki’s ouster.

Last week, Shinseki told me an internal audit at Hines VA, near Maywood, did not turn up anything, but that was before VA probers talked to the whistleblower. The Sun-Times Kim Janssen reported the next day that Kirk wanted the Hines VA director out to “to establish a culture of culpability” over allegations of rigging treatment wait lists.

​Obama on ABC’s “Kelly & Michael” suggested Shinseki could be jettisoned. “I’ll have a serious conversation with him about whether he thinks that he is prepared and has the capacity to take on the job of fixing it,” Obama said.