Trump replaces David Shulkin as head of Veterans Affairs

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Rumors have swirled that Trump was aiming to replace Shulkin.

President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he has replaced Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, who has faced criticism amid an investigation into his department.

Trump said he will nominate Admiral Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, to head the agency. In the interim, Robert Wilkie will serve as acting secretary.

“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 said in a series of tweets. “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 a statement, Trump said he appreciated Shulkin’s work and said Jackson was a “highly trained and qualified” replacement.

“He has been a great supporter of veterans across the country and I am grateful for his service,” the president said.

Shulkin was the only member of Trump’s cabinet who was unanimously confirmed by Congress last year. He also ran the Veterans Affairs administration as part of former President Barack Obama’s administration.

However, signs were pointing toward Trump ousting Shulkin in recent weeks. Earlier this month, reports suggested that Trump called a Fox & Friends host during a meeting with Shulkin to get his opinion on veteran affairs health care legislation.

In February, the Office of the Inspector General found that the former Veteran Affairs Secretary’s chief of staff changed the language of an email from an aide to try and justify his wife’s travel expenses on a trip to Europe he took during July last year.

Jackson drew some of the internet’s ire after he announced in January that Trump was an inch taller than previously reported, making the president just one pound shy of the level that would be considered obese.

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).