Trump considering Perry for veterans affairs secretary

Trump considering Perry for veterans affairs secretary

After their meeting, Shulkin told The New York Times that he had the full confidence of the White House to fire staffers he felt were disloyal to him.

"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.

"We'll never have to use those words on our David", Mr. Trump said, pointing his finger at the secretary like a pistol.

The dispute spilled into public over the last month, following a scathing report by department's inspector general on a business trip that Dr. Shulkin took to Britain and Denmark past year.

Shulkin has butted heads with Trump appointees at the V.A. from the outset, but the conflict came to a head after an inspector general's report found "serious derelictions" in the way Shulkin's office had handled a trip to Europe, among them allegedly doctoring e-mails to allow the V.A. head to justify bringing his wife along.

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Shulkin has been struggling with political appointees at his department, some of whom allegedly oppose his policies and are seeking his ouster. CNN reported that the White House held private meetings with Shulkin, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and HUD Secretary Ben Carson last month to discuss the "optics" of their uses of taxpayer money.

The secretary appeared to be regaining his footing.

The current VA secretary, David Shulkin, is under fire for taking a taxpayer-funded trip to Europe past year. The secretary maintains the support of top Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Perry is seen as a more pliant figure for the veterans affairs position. His status as the sole Obama holdover in Trump's administration initially did not raise any issues, people familiar with the situation said.

Trump did not make a formal offer to Perry when the two men met on Monday, the report said.

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