Trump eyes replacing VA head David Shulkin with Energy Secretary Rick Perry

By Veterans Administration, via Wikimedia Commons

Coffman, who has consistently hammered the VA over its over-budget and behind-schedule construction of the new VA hospital in Aurora, said Shulkin made Americans trust the department even less because of his actions and said it was time to "clean house" at the time.

"The meeting with the President and VA Chief of Staff was productive, supportive and focused exclusively on moving forward in the best interest of our Veterans", Shulkin said in a statement provided to Axios.

If Shulkin is fired it would be the latest major shakeup in the Trump administration.

The conservatives came to feel that Dr. Shulkin, who advocated a moderate rewrite of the current private care programs, was an obstacle to their goal.

David Shulkin, the veterans affairs secretary, has been investigated by his department's inspector general, which last month said he improperly accepted tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament last summer during a government trip to Europe.

The White House didn't comment on the rumors. Engaged in an all-out cold war with senior staffers, Shulkin managed to avoid the axe following accusations that he misused taxpayer funds to bring his wife on a European vacation. He iced out those he viewed as a threat and essentially became his own one-person press office.

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Kelly did tell Shulkin that he would help him with the issues he was having with staffers at the VA, according to Axios.

The secretary appeared to be regaining his footing.

Coffman, a Colorado Republican who is a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, on February 28 wrote to Trump and asked him to fire Shulkin after an inspector general report found Shulkin improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets on a trip to Europe, lied about the trip, and that an aide doctored emails so Shulkin's wife could travel with him. The secretary maintains the support of top Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill.

The source was not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

Mr. Perry is seen as a more pliant figure for the veterans affairs position.

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