Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin called politics in Washington D.C. “toxic” and “chaotic” in a blistering op-ed published the day after President Donald Trump announced he was ousting him from the administration.
In a tweet on Wednesday evening, Trump said he would replace Shulkin and nominate Admiral Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, to lead the agency.
“In recent months … the environment in Washington has turned so toxic, chaotic, disrespectful and subversive that it became impossible for me to accomplish the important work that our veterans need and deserve,” Shulkin wrote in an op-ed published by the New York Times. “I can assure you that I will continue to speak out against those who seek to harm the V.A. by putting their personal agendas in front of the well-being of our veterans.”
In the op-ed, Shulkin laid out what he considered his accomplishments during his time at the VA, but criticized how the agency has become “entangled in a brutal power struggle,” with some people promoting “their agendas” instead of helping veterans.
“As I prepare to leave government, I am struck by a recurring thought: It should not be this hard to serve your country,” he wrote.
The former Veterans Affairs secretary did not address the investigation into his travel following a report from the Office of the Inspector General that highlighted issues with a trip he took to Europe during July last year.
You can read all of Shulkin’s op-ed in the New York Times here.