Trump to fire Shulkin: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE is preparing to fire Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinFormer Trump VA secretary says staffer found plans to replace him in department copier VA under pressure to ease medical marijuana rules Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank MORE, according to a report from The Associated Press.

A source told the outlet there is a "50-50" chance the president will oust Shulkin within the next two days. 


Another source told the AP that the White House was considering around six replacements for Shulkin, including the former CEO of the conservative organization Concerned Veterans for America and "Fox & Friends" contributor Pete Hegseth, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg and former president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic Toby Cosgrove. 

A Veterans Affairs spokesman told The Hill there were no personnel changes to announce at the department.

"There are no personnel changes to announce at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  President Trump has made clear that he expects the Department’s sole focus to be on providing quality care to America’s veterans who have sacrificed to keep this country free and safe," press secretary Curt Cashour said. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment. 

Shulkin has faced backlash after an inspector general report said he misspent taxpayer money on lavish travel for himself and his wife.

The report found that Shulkin wrongly accepted tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament in London, and used taxpayer funds to travel to Europe, which cost a total of $122,000. 

The Washington Post reported earlier this month that tension has skyrocketed between Shulkin and his staff following his disagreements with Trump's political appointees. 

“Things have come to a grinding halt,” one senior manager told the publication. “It’s killing the agency. Nobody trusts each other.”

Various officials in the department, including public affairs chief John Ullyot, legislative affairs head Brooks Tucker and top aide Jake Leinenkugel, have reportedly sought Shulkin's ouster. 

“The president has a large number of individuals that are working hard to make sure that the VA is helping veterans at the best level possible,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier this month. “We continue to review if there is anything we can do to improve on this. … I don't have any personnel announcements but we're looking for how to better the system every day. Whether it is through policy or personnel changes, not just at the top but across the board, we made a number of changes within the personnel and we’re making sure we're looking at how to best serve our nation's veterans.”

The report comes amid major staff shake-ups within the Trump administration. 

The president announced earlier this month that he was removing Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump lashes out over Kelly criticism: 'He misses the action' Timeline: Trump and Romney's rocky relationship Top Democrat demands Barr recuse himself from case against Turkish bank MORE and would replace him with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHillicon Valley: Agencies play catch-up over TikTok security concerns | Senate Dems seek sanctions on Russia over new election meddling | Pentagon unveils AI principles Senate Democrats urge Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia for election interference President Trump's assault on checks and balances: Five acts in four weeks MORE

Trump said last week his national security adviser H.R. McMaster would be replaced by John Bolton. 

Trump ally and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy told ABC News on Sunday that the president is poised to make one or two more changes to his staff. 

“Now, other White House sources, not the president, tell me that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is likely to depart the Cabinet very soon,” Ruddy said.