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UPDATE: Rick Perry Says Becoming VA Secretary Is “Fake News”

Wednesday update:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he has no interest in becoming the next head of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Perry is rejecting speculation that he would soon take over the position after the White House floated his name to replace embattled VA Secretary David Shulkin.

Speaking after a Senate hearing, Perry said he’s keeping his job and made a reference to reports as “fake news.” Perry says he’s energy secretary “until the foreseeable future – happily.”

Two people familiar with White House discussions told The Associated Press Tuesday that President Donald Trump is considering ousting Shulkin, who has faced an insurgency within his department and fresh allegations that he used a member of his security detail to run personal errands.

Original story Tuesday, March 13 2018:

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Latest on Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is considering replacing embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin with Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

A source familiar with the White House discussions tells The Associated Press that Trump has floated the notion of the Cabinet reshuffle as a way to right the ship at the VA, believing Shulkin has become a distraction to the department’s work. The source was not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

Shulkin has faced several investigations over his travel and leadership of the department, but until now has received praise from the president for his work to turn around the department. The news comes after Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Trump hosted Perry at the White House for lunch Monday, but no formal job offer was made, the source says.


3:45 p.m.

Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is hanging onto his job by a thread as he faces an insurgency from within the agency and new allegations that he had a member of his security detail go shopping with him at Home Depot and then cart the purchases into his house.

Senior administration officials say Shulkin is increasingly on thin ice with President Donald Trump after a bruising internal report found ethics violations in connection with the secretary’s trip to Europe with his wife last summer.

Shulkin also is bracing for an upcoming VA watchdog report, due for release by summer, that focuses in part on whether he used his 24-7 security detail for personal errands.

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Posted by on Mar 14 2018. Filed under News.
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