Trump considering Rick Perry to take over VA, new report says

Trump considering Rick Perry to take over VA, new report says

President Donald Trump has expressed dissatisfaction with his Veterans Affairs secretary, Dr. David Shulkin, and has discussed replacing him, two people familiar with the matter said.

As recently as last week, the president was supporting Shulkin, who has openly discussed his conversations with Kelly with reporters. Trump has been angry with Shulkin, the official said, but is known to float staffing changes without always following through.

Shulkin told the newspaper that Kelly and President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out "subversion" at VA MORE supported the secretary removing staffers who didn't back him.

The report mentions that Trump believes Sulkin has become a "distraction to the department's work". Trump raised the idea with Perry on Monday, according to a number of news outlets that cited unidentified White House officials, but has not offered him the job so far.

For now, it remains to be seen if these rumors have any substance.

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Shulkin's security detail is also under investigation by Inspector General Michael Missal, who is expected to release a report within weeks on alleged abuses by the some of its members. His chief of staff resigned after the report said she doctored an email to justify allowing Shulkin's wife to travel to Europe at taxpayer's expense. According to his attorneys, he also intends on repaying other costs.

Shulkin was escorted from that meeting to the Oval Office, where Trump questioned him about his efforts to push the Choice expansion, which lawmakers are now seeking to include in a massive spending bill that must be approved by next week to avert a government shutdown.

The email to Sandoval alluded to White House efforts to gain more control, including ousting Shulkin's chief of staff, and said the secretary had been "put on notice to exit" once the administration gets the Choice legislation through Congress.

Shulkin said he favored a more moderate approach.

The president then telephoned Pete Hegseth, co-host of "Fox & Friends Weekend" and a former chief executive of Concerned Veterans for America, a conservative advocacy group backed by the Kochs.

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