Trump Fires Shulkin at VA, Taps White House Physician

President Donald Trump has decided to name his White House physician, Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs as he ousts the scandal-plagued VA secretary, David Shulkin.

The president announced the change at 5:31 p.m. Wednesday on Twitter.

 

Robert Wilkie, the acting VA secretary, is the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

Shulkin agreed to reimburse the government more than $4,000 after the VA’s Office of Inspector General found that he improperly accepted Wimbledon tennis tickets and that his then-chief of staff doctored emails to justify his wife’s trip to Europe with him at taxpayer expense.

Shulkin was under an ethics investigation for his travels to Europe on the taxpayers’ dime. Before Trump appointed him last year as VA secretary, he had been undersecretary for health during the Obama administration beginning in 2015.

Vice President Mike Pence later weighed in:

Jackson has held the post of physician to the president since 2013, during President Barack Obama’s second term. He was in the national spotlight earlier this year when he briefed reporters about Trump’s physical examination.

Shulkin’s departure is the latest major shake-up in the Trump administration in recent weeks.

The president ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominated CIA Director Mike Pompeo to succeed him. He then fired H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, to replace him with John Bolton, the United Nations ambassador during the George W. Bush administration.

Trump earlier ousted Gary Cohn as his chief economic adviser, appointing Larry Kudlow to replace him.

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