Senator McCain shunned by VA Director Amdur

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Sen. John McCain talks exclusively with Ashleigh Barry about the Phoenix VA problems (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Sen. John McCain talks exclusively with Ashleigh Barry about the Phoenix VA problems (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Whistleblowers have brought problems to light about the Phoenix VA Medical Center (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Whistleblowers have brought problems to light about the Phoenix VA Medical Center (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona Senator John McCain says he was shunned by the new Director of the Phoenix VA and he's now sharing his concerns about Deborah Amdur and her lack of communication.  He granted us an exclusive one-on-one interview as we continue to uncover bombshell after bombshell within the troubled administration.

Just moments after the senator spoke about congressional efforts to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs at Phoenix City Hall on Monday, McCain spoke privately about his take on the new director.

[RELATED: Sen. McCain announced new proposals for veteran care at town hall]

"One of the things that public officials had better understand is they ought to talk to the people and they ought to talk to the media," he said. "Obviously she (Amdur) has disregarded that fundamental requirement of public service."

[READ MORE: Special section: VA hospital troubles]

McCain went on to say that he personally invited the director to witness his efforts and hear veterans' concerns about the system and was hopeful she'd show her face at the town hall meeting.

"At first she accepted and then for some reason a couple days ago she called and changed her mind," he said. "I was very disappointed because people need to hear from a person that is in charge of an institution that clearly has been the subject of enormous controversy. I'm very disappointed and I find it unacceptable and especially given the swirl of controversy, not only about the entire VA, but it started here with the non-existent waiting lists."

The senator is also demanding full scale investigations be held after insiders continue to shed light on the darkness within the Phoenix VA. This comes just days after employees clearly violated policy by pushing an internal petition to save embattled Dr. Darren Deering's job.

[READ MORE: VA employees being threatened to sign petition in support of embattled doctor]

"These actions need to be brought to light and the Justice Department has to act where it is appropriate to do so," McCain said.

Actions that whistleblowers like Brandon Coleman, Dean Trulock and Jared Kinnaman have risked their jobs to report, because they say veterans' lives are at risk daily.

"They are coming forward because they are brave and patriotic Americans and thank God for them as you know whistleblowers brought this whole situation to light," said McCain. "Whistleblowers are not only allowed, they are encouraged and that's why they should be rewarded."

As for the painstaking process of removing leaders within the VA that have proven to be dysfunctional, McCain said it takes so long because of the protections that the unions have with federal employees and that it needs to be changed.

"I'm not optimistic because they're a very powerful organization," he said. "We will stay on this and do everything we can to make those people responsible."

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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