Perry says he's had 'no conversation' about taking over VA

Ruben Ruiz
March 16, 2018

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Thursday that he thought his department was getting back on track amid rumors that he will be fired.

The recent murmurs of Rick Perry, in particular, possibly being Shulkin's replacement come just a day after the President hosted Perry at the White House for lunch, though no formal job offer was made at that time, according to unnamed sources. Kelly has also worn on the president, confidants of the president said. But he was quickly asked about his own situation.

"Every Cabinet member has a security detail that is armed", he said. "And I prefer not to discuss the specifics of it".

Shulkin denies wrongdoing, and says he's not using the taxpayer-paid armed guards any differently from other Cabinet members. But many officials are tight-lipped about their security detail.

Some veterans were so angered by the report that security around Shulkin has had to be increased. And the agency's watchdog has detailed mismanagement and spending waste that's weakened Shulkin's standing. "And if we make changes, we will let you know". "That means we need a Secretary who works for our veterans, not for the Koch brothers". But they say nothing has been finalized.

She then asked: "That underscores the point. It simply couldn't work by privatizing the system". As the Senate debated legislation to expand the Choice program in November, he tweeted about Senate Veterans" Affairs Committee chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.: "Worst part about this is that so-called Republican @SenatorIsakson voted WITH socialist @SenSanders to block MORE health care choice for veterans.

"There's no pressure to privatize". "We are continuing to review if there are anything that we can do to improve on that system". The secretary said that he remains focused and that the only pressure he faces is "to fix this system". "But, I've been clear that we can't do it alone".

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Major Hegseth previously served as the Chief Executive Officer for Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) from 2012 to 2015, the largest conservative veterans and military families organization in America. Trump reportedly calls Hegseth frequently to discuss veterans affairs. Shulkin himself has sought to fire several senior managers and looked for backing from advisers and officials close to Trump.

Shulkin, a holdover from the Obama administration and the only Cabinet nominee who was unanimously confirmed, is believed to be on Trump's firing line after an inspector general report concluded he improperly accepted tickets to a Wimbledon tennis match during a government-funded trip with his wife.

While dismissing news reports of looming departures, Trump also appeared to signal more changes to come on Thursday, telling reporters: "There will always be change".

Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he has no interest in leading the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A physician and former hospital executive who won unanimous confirmation by the Senate previous year, Shulkin, 58, has so far been able to hold onto his job.

Major Hegseth is an Army veteran who has deployed three times since 9/11, most recently returning from Afghanistan where he was the senior counterinsurgency instructor at the Counterinsurgency Training Center in Kabul from 2011 to 2012.

Other reports by GizPress

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