(RNN) – President Donald Trump is considering firing Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin and replacing him with Energy Secretary Rick Perry in the post, sources told the New York Times and CNN.
The possible move comes on the same day the president fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and follows weeks of upheaval on the White House staff.
JUST IN: President Trump has grown irritated with his embattled Veterans Affairs secretary, David Shulkin, and is eyeing Energy Secretary Rick Perry as a possible replacement, sources tell CNN https://t.co/g5hfC0JgK7 pic.twitter.com/bd4S1r2c8y— CNN (@CNN) March 13, 2018
Shulkin was an internal promotion to the position, after spending 18 months as the undersecretary for health at the VA. He had a long previous career in hospital administration and academia.
He came under scrutiny last month for what an internal VA report called “serious derelictions” in a trip he took to Europe. The trip was treated as an official tour in line with his government duties, but he reportedly spent much of it sightseeing, and his wife accompanied him on a ticket paid for by agency funds.
They were also found to have improperly accepted tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament in England.
The inspector general who compiled the report, Michael Missal, noted: “This was time that should have been spent conducting official VA business and not providing personal travel concierge services to Secretary Shulkin and his wife.”
Shulkin’s chief of staff who helped arrange the travel plans, Vivieca Wright Simpson, resigned days after the scandal broke.
She was alleged to have altered emails and records in arranging for Shulkin’s wife, Dr. Merle Bari, to travel with him. The inspector general's report recommended criminal charges for Wright Simpson, a 32-year employee of the VA.
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