Administration

Shulkin: Trump didn’t mention I would be fired on phone call

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Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Thursday that he received a phone call from President Trump hours before he was fired this week, but said he was not informed on the call of his impending ouster.

In an interview with MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” Shulkin revealed that he spoke with Trump by phone on Wednesday just hours before receiving a second call from White House chief of staff John Kelly, who informed him he was being fired.

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According to Shulkin, the two spoke “about the progress that I was making, what I needed to do from a policy perspective.”

“He made no mention of the fact that he was about to terminate you?” Hayes asked.

“That’s correct,” Shulkin responded.

“And then you found out via tweet?” Hayes asked.

“Right before that,” Shulkin responded, referring to the call from Kelly.

Trump announced the move Wednesday evening on Twitter, naming White House physician Adm. Ronny Jackson as Shulkin’s replacement.

The move came after months of internal friction between the White House and Shulkin, which escalated in February when Shulkin’s chief of staff was found to have made changes to an official email to cover up expenses for Shulkin’s wife on a trip abroad to Europe.

In an earlier interview Thursday, Shulkin told Fox News that he was ousted over the “pace” of reforms at the VA, which has struggled with long wait times for veterans seeking care.

“He wasn’t happy with the pace and you know, I agree with POTUS. This is [an] organization that needs to change, it needs to do better at its job and we all want to do it faster and better,” Shulkin told Fox News’s Bret Baier.

Tags David Shulkin Donald Trump John Kelly Trump administration VA Veterans' Affairs White House
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