Administration

Trump considering firing VA chief: report

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President Trump is considering replacing Veterans Affairs chief David Shulkin with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Two sources close to the White House told The New York Times that Trump is mulling firing Shulkin, who has been under scrutiny over ethics concerns, including his use of a personal security detail to run errands.

Trump has not formally offered Perry the job, and it’s unclear if he would accept it, the Times reported. Perry served in the Air Force prior to his career in politics.

{mosads}Shulkin has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks following an internal report that found he spent most of a taxpayer-funded trip to Europe sightseeing, had the government cover the cost of his wife’s airfare and improperly accepted a gift of Wimbledon tickets.

He has also gone on record to say he’s rooting out “subversion” in his own department, where he claims other staffers are attempting to undermine him.

White House chief of staff John Kelly reportedly told Shulkin following those comments to stop fighting with staff and talking with the media.

The department itself has faced its share of problems. An inspector general report released Tuesday found the agency incorrectly reported wait times experienced by veterans seeking first-time care from the agency’s doctors, and a recent series of USA Today stories shed light on problematic hiring practices within the department.

The report of Shulkin’s possible ouster comes just hours after Trump abruptly fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.

Tillerson said in a news conference that he will conclude his tenure on March 31, and will turn over his duties to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan until then.

This story was updated at 5:50 p.m.

Tags David Shulkin David Shulkin Department of Veterans Affairs Donald Trump Donald Trump John Kelly Mike Pompeo Rex Tillerson Rick Perry

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