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Trump Terminates Shulkin As Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Trump Terminates Shulkin As Secretary of Veterans Affairs

It found that Shulkin improperly accepted a gift of Wimbledon tennis tickets for him and his wife, who traveled with him at taxpayer expense.

Trump has selected Robert Wilkie, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, to serve as the acting head of the VA.

After days of silence on the much-rumored subject, President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon that he's dumping Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin.

It was the latest in a series of departures for top administration officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was sacked by Trump earlier this month.

The next VA secretary is likely to favor a shift toward more private care, a goal at odds with numerous traditional veterans advocacy groups.

The president announced that he would nominate Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, his personal physician, to replace Shulkin, a physician and former hospital executive who was the sole Obama-era holdover in Trumps Cabinet.

On Monday, White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley looked to dismiss reports that the embattled Shulkin was on his way out.

Shulkin had continued to insist he had the full confidence of the White House amid continuing investigations over his travel and leadership of the department.

"I will ask Dr. Shulkin and ask the president to clean house and that's what he should have done from day one, and it hasn't been done", Coffman said.

The department provides medical care and other benefits to 9 million military veterans in more than 1,700 health facilities around the U.S.

The Trump appointees seized on the report and began agitating for his ouster. But the White House has sent mixed messages publicly, and it remains unclear to what extent the secretary still has President Trump's full trust. He was previously appointed by Obama as undersecretary for health at the VA in July of 2015.

Shulkin had been working with Congress to pass landmark legislation to expand - if moderately - veterans' access to private sector care, and the measure appeared poised to pass the Senate before the power struggle between Shulkin and Trump appointees erupted into public view.

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