June 20, 2018

Trump considers former Texas governor to take over VA

14 March 2018, 01:08 | Taylor George

Trump considers former Texas governor to take over VA

Trump considers former Texas governor to take over VA

Perry had lunch with Trump at the White House on Monday.

The possible move comes on the same day the president fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and follows weeks of upheaval on the White House staff.

"We can do better and we have to do better" throughout the entire VA health care system of 170 hospitals and more than 1,100 clinics, Shulkin said at a news conference. An armed guard reportedly stands outside his office, in part due to the upheaval and in part as a response to threats Shulkin received after the I.G. report was made public.

Shulkin was the VA's undersecretary of health from 2015-16.

David Shulkin, the veterans affairs secretary, has been investigated by his department's inspector general, which last month said he improperly accepted tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament last summer during a government trip to Europe.

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The report in hand, Dr. Shulkin's critics in the White House and the department - including his two top communications deputies - worked behind the scenes to try to hasten his ouster. Shulkin has since reimbursed the department for his wife's airfare. Axios recently reported the President has been growing frustrated with him.

The secretary appeared to be regaining his footing. The report brought Shulkin's foes into the open, where they have demanded his firing; last month, The Washington Post reported that, in mid-February, one of Shulkin's senior aides directly lobbied Republican staffers in Congress to demand the resignation of Shulkin and his deputy secretary, Thomas Bowman, an effort that they rebuffed.

Mr. Perry is seen as a more pliant figure for the veterans affairs position.

Mr. Trump did not make a formal offer to Mr. Perry when the two men met on Monday. His status as the sole Obama holdover in Trump's administration initially did not raise any issues, people familiar with the situation said.

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