President Trump fired VA Secretary Shulkin on Wednesday after weeks of accusations that he misused taxpayer funds on a trip to Europe last year, according to the Military Times.
….In the interim, Hon. Robert Wilkie of DOD will serve as Acting Secretary. I am thankful for Dr. David Shulkin’s service to our country and to our GREAT VETERANS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
According to the Washington Examiner,
“…the Veterans Affairs inspector general revealed Shulkin and top VA officials misused taxpayer funds and misled the agency about an 11-day trip to Europe.
The watchdog found Shulkin’s chief of staff doctored an email to VA officials to obtain approval for the federal government to pay for travel for Shulkin’s wife.
Shulkin testified before House lawmakers on Feb. 15, before the reported call was made, and suggested during the appearance his chief of staff’s email account had been hacked.”
Shulkin reportedly felt “remorse” over the misuse of taxpayer funds and offered to pay them back. He sent a check for $4,312 to reimburse the department for his wife’s travel. He was reporteldy “seeking ways to compensate” the person who gave them tickets to Wimbledon during the trip.
Shulkin easily sailed through the confirmation process last year in part because he was a holdover from the Obama administration. He had served as Undersecretary for the VA for some time prior to his nomination.
Many veterans rallied for him, even though he was not a veteran himself. He was practicing medical doctor. He did make numerous changes at the VA, as well as firing hundreds of personnel.
Nominee Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD
Admiral Ronny Jackson, MD, has been nominated as VA Secretary. Adm Jackson has served for 23 years in the Navy, and has been the White House Physician since 2006. He is an Iraq War veteran.
Critics have already begun the complaining by saying that Dr. Jackson has never run an agency as large as the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. The last few men who have been in that office there have run such agencies, but still couldn’t totally remove the flotsam and jetsam in the quagmire of the VA. Perhaps Dr. Jackson will have a clearer view of what needs to change. If he can get through the horrendous confirmation process.
Robert Wilkie will serve as interim head of the VA. Wilkie currently serves as under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
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