Embattled VA Secretary May Be on the Way Out

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

(Newser) – President Donald Trump is considering ousting embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who has faced an insurgency within his department and fresh allegations that he used a member of his security detail to run personal errands, the AP reports. Trump has floated the notion of moving Energy Secretary Rick Perry to the VA to right the ship, believing Shulkin has become a distraction, according to two sources familiar with White House discussions. Trump raised the idea with Perry on Monday but did not offer the job to him, according to one White House official. Trump has been angry with Shulkin, the official said, but is known to float staffing changes without always following through.

Shulkin has faced several investigations over his travel and leadership of the department, but until now has received praise from the president for his work to turn it around. Shulkin has been holding on to his job by a thread since a bruising internal report found ethics violations in connection with his trip to Europe with his wife last summer. The VA inspector general also is looking into a complaint by a member of Shulkin’s 24-7 security detail that he was asked to accompany the secretary to a Home Depot and carry furniture items into his home, according to two people familiar with the allegation. No comment yet from either Shulkin’s or Perry’s camp. The report comes after Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Tuesday.