Less than a week after H.R. McMaster resigned as President Trump’s second National Security Adviser, Veterans Affair Secretary David Shulkin found himself on the chopping block after a series of presidential tweets. According to Trump himself, the personal physician to the president, Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson will be taking over as the head of the department previously led by Shulkin since his appointment by Trump and unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate in 2017. Before that, he served as the department’s under secretary by appointment from President Obama.
“I am pleased to announce that I intend to nominate highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs,” Trump announced on social media. “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!” In other words, the president ousted Shulkin entirely from the department.
Shulkin came under fire in February, when evidence surfaced that a department official had “doctored” emails in order to fund travel expenses for the secretary’s wife. Not long after, Shulkin’s name joined an ever-growing and changing list of other Trump cabinet officials the president reportedly wanted to excise from the White House. With Wednesday’s announcement, it seems his name will now join the equally ever-lengthening list of ex-Trump staffers. As for Jackson, if his name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the Navy doctor who declared Trump was “very healthy” during a White House press briefing in January.
(Via New York Times)