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Trump considering Perry for veterans affairs secretary

Trump considering Perry for veterans affairs secretary

In the wake of President Trump's abrupt firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday and his comments that he nearly has the cabinet that he wants in place, speculation has swirled on Capitol Hill over which administration official may be replaced next.

That tenor began to change in recent months, as Dr. Shulkin increasingly butted heads with conservative Trump administration officials over one of the White House's top policy priorities for the department: the expansion of government-subsidized private health care for veterans, outside the government-run V.A. health system. Perry is rejecting speculation that he would soon take over the position after the White House floated his name to replace embattled VA Secretary David Shulkin.

Bloomberg reported that the president made his feelings known during a White House lunch on Monday with Perry, shortly after news broke that he had fired secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

Trump's aides used that report to try to quickly remove Shulkin, who disputed the report's findings.

In the weeks since the report's release, his detractors have lobbied the White House to force Shulkin out.

The president's new chief economist, CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow, gave an interview in which he disagreed with Mr. Trump on tariffs and NAFTA.

It showed that at least three VA offices directly under Shulkin's watch experienced "serious, persistent deficiencies" when he was VA undersecretary of health from 2015 to 2016. A spokeswoman for Perry also had no comment. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to describe sensitive internal discussions, say Shulkin has been given a final warning to end the swirl of distractions.

Minutes later, Shulkin arrived, and told reporters that he hadn't spoken to Trump on Thursday.

The complaint alleged that Shulkin asked a member of his security detail to accompany him to a Home Depot and carry furniture items to his house, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday. While early in his tenure Shulkin gained bipartisan acclaim for cleaning up a blighted agency, he began to butt heads more and more with political appointees over moving care outside the department, which now serves more than 9 million veterans.

Shulkin is blaming the internal drama on a half-dozen or so political appointees whom he had considered firing, only to be blocked by Kelly.

A new inspector general report makes official what many Americans knew, that "failed leadership" at the VA during the Obama administration put some veterans in agency hospitals at risk.

David Shulkin, already embroiled in controversy over his travel expenses and locked in a feud with Trump administration political appointees, now has another problem that could cost him his job - shopping binges.

It wasn't always this way. According to the report, Shulkin's then chief of staff altered an email to justify allowing the secretary's wife to travel using taxpayer money.

Wright Simpson, Shulkin's former aide who is accused of doctoring the emails, also dismissed any wrongdoing.

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