White House vetting at least three candidates for VA secretary: report

White House vetting at least three candidates for VA secretary: report
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The White House is reportedly currently considering three candidates to run the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) after the former nominee, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, pulled his nomination last week.

White House aides met with former Florida Rep. Jeff MillerJefferson (Jeff) Bingham MillerVA might not be able to end veteran homelessness, but we shouldn't stop trying Suicide prevention remains a top national priority for the VA Ohio school took hot lunch from 9-year-old on his birthday due to unpaid lunch debt MORE (R) on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Miller once led the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

On Thursday, staffers will meet with Ron Nicol, who helped manage the president's transition and is currently a senior adviser at The Boston Consulting Group, according to the AP.

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And acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie is also being considered for the top post. Wilkie is reportedly well regarded by White House staff, including chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisAmash rips Trump over move to send troops from Syria to Iraq Defense chief says US troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq White House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours MORE.

According to officials interviewed by the AP, none of the potential candidates have yet been scheduled to meet with President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE.

After Jackson’s nomination led to allegations of a hostile work environment and drinking on the job, Trump is likely to want to ensure his nominee has a good record to prevent embarrassment.

Jackson, whom Trump picked to replace former VA chief David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinVA under pressure to ease medical marijuana rules Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank Senior Trump administration official to leave post next week MORE, withdrew his nomination last week after reported workplace infractions, including improperly handing out prescription medication.

The president wants someone who has a stronger political background so they can better handle a tough confirmation in the Senate, the AP reported.

Trump has blamed Jackson's withdrawal on Democratic Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterBennet reintroduces bill to ban lawmakers from becoming lobbyists Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever Red-state Democrats worry impeachment may spin out of control MORE (Mont.), the ranking member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, who is facing a tough reelection fight this November.

Trump has called for Tester to resign after he revealed the allegations against Jackson, but VA panel Chairman Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonJoe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia Poll: Majority of independent voters want GOP to retain control of Senate in 2020 Embracing President Mike Pence might be GOP's best play MORE (R-Ga.) has come to Tester's defense, saying the committee was only doing its job.

“Part of the allegations made in one of the affidavits was verified by [CNN],” Isakson said. “I did my job and every senator has the responsibility, if they’re presented with accusations, to try and seek the truth. And that exonerates everybody who seeks the truth.”