Monday, 19 March, 2018

Trump cabinet shakeup. Will Rick Perry move from Energy to Veterans Affairs?

By Veterans Administration, via Wikimedia Commons By Veterans Administration, via Wikimedia Commons
Melinda Barton | 14 March, 2018, 13:10

Trump met with Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Monday, and multiple outlets are reporting the president is considering Perry to replace Shulkin.

And Mr. Trump has publicly showered Dr. Shulkin with praise. The New York Times and CNN are reporting Trump is not done.

Shulkin, who has been telling the media that Trump political appointees in the Department of Veterans Affairs are trying to undermine him, was reportedly told by Kelly to stop fighting with staff and talking with the media.

Shulkin said he did nothing wrong and said the investigation had a "thread of bias", adding that the report was "a direct assault" on his wife, character, and his "unblemished record of service" to the VA, as Shulkin put it.

Last month, Missal issued a scathing report charging that Shulkin wrongly charged the $4,132 airfare for his wife on a trip to Denmark and London last July, and also accepted free tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Trump has been telling associates he doesn't know what's happened at the VA, but he doesn't like what he's hearing and he may have to fire Shulkin if the situation further deteriorates...

A Shulkin adviser referred questions about this report to the White House. "Unfortunately, Secretary Shulkin, by his conduct, lacks the moral authority to achieve you goals of a transparent, accountable VA that is dedicated to meeting our nation's obligations to the men and women who wore the uniform and made tremendous sacrifices in defense of our freedoms". The source was not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

If Mr. Trump were to make the move, possible replacements for Mr. Perry could include Ray Washburne, a Dallas entrepreneur and prominent Republican fund-raiser; J. Larry Nichols, the former chairman of Devon Energy; and T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oilman, according to people who work closely with senior officials at the department and the White House.