March 28 (UPI) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he is replacing Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin after weeks of speculation the VA chief would be the next Cabinet member to be ousted.
The president made the announcement of his new VA pic Wednesday evening on Twitter.
“I am pleased to announce that I intend to nominate highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs,” he wrote. “In the interim, Hon. Robert Wilkie of [the Department of Defense] will serve as Acting Secretary. I am thankful for Dr. David Shulkin’s service to our country and to our GREAT VETERANS!”
Earlier this month, Shulkin faced rumors Trump planned to fire him after the departure of a number of other administration and White House officials like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Communications Director Hope Hicks.
On March 15, Shulkin said he was eager to get the VA Department back on track in the wake of the speculation.
“I’ve publicly acknowledged that the distraction that has happened that you’ve talked about is something that I deeply regret,” he told a House Appropriations Committee subpanel. “I’ve come here for one reason, and that’s to improve the lives of veterans, and that’s what I’m focused solely on doing.”
Trump issued a statement Wednesday evening saying he’s “grateful for his service.”
“I appreciate the work of Dr. David Shulkin and the many great things we did together at Veterans Affairs, including the VA Accountability Act that he was helpful in getting passed,” the president said.