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Trump considers Rick Perry for veterans affairs secretary

Trump considers Rick Perry for veterans affairs secretary

Shulkin, who has been telling the media that Trump political appointees in the Department of Veterans Affairs are trying to undermine him, was reportedly told by Kelly to stop fighting with staff and talking with the media. The energy department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the report, nor did the White House.

Current and former VA employees have also emailed unconfirmed statements of mismanagement stemming from the agency.

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.

President Trump hands a pen to Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin during a White House photo-op in January.

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Though their accounts are largely unconfirmed, these employees claim they are "being forced out and made to suffer" and that Shulkin was "responsible for the mismanagement". Now Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been fired and CIA Director Mike Pompeo is moving to that position. Following the meeting at the White House, Shulkin conducted an interview with The Times, in which he claimed the White House granted him approval to remove staffers who did not support him.

"We can do better and we have to do better" throughout the entire VA health care system of 170 hospitals and more than 1,100 clinics, Shulkin said at a news conference. 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.

Following an outbreak of negative press coverage, Shulkin hired additional lawyers and an outside public-relations firm to fend off reports of internal quibbles and to help with the fallout.

Shulkin also is bracing for an upcoming VA watchdog report, due for release by summer that focuses in part on whether he used his 24-7 security detail for personal errands.