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 MillerVeteran's GI Bill payments are a huge train wreck More veterans in Congress will mean more representation for our vets VA and Congress aren't fighting fake news targeting vets 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.

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 Mattis2020 Democrats challenge Trump's use of troops at Mexico border Trump: 'Don't worry' about troops spending Thanksgiving at border US Customs stops traffic into country at key border point of entry MORE.

According to officials interviewed by the AP, none of the potential candidates have yet been scheduled to meet with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: WHCA picking non-comedian for headliner a 'good first step' Five takeaways from Mississippi's Senate debate Watergate’s John Dean: Nixon would tell Trump 'he's going too far' 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 ShulkinOvernight Defense: Trump says 'rogue killers' could be behind missing journalist | Sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | Saudis may claim Khashoggi killed by accident | Ex-VA chief talks White House 'chaos' | Most F-35s cleared for flight Former VA chief Shulkin: 'Chaos' probably a 'pretty accurate term' to describe Trump White House Veterans group sues to block advisers known as ‘Mar-a-Lago Crowd’ from influencing VA 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) TesterBanking panel showcases 2020 Dems Cortez Masto poised to become DSCC chair Mellman: The triumph of partisanship 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 IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonUS firm goes on lobbying blitz in fight with Angola Trump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally House conservatives want ethics probe into Dems' handling of Kavanaugh allegations 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.”