David Shulkin testifies at a House subcommittee this month. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

Trump's Mar-a-Lago buddy Chris Ruddy made a splash on TV today, telling ABC's "This Week" that the president told him yesterday he expected to make "one or two major changes to his — to his government very soon." Ruddy went on to say that "other White House sources, not the president, tell me that Veterans Affairs Secretary David [Shulkin] is likely to depart the Cabinet very soon."

Here's what I know about the Shulkin situation, from conversations with sources involved in the sensitive discussions and with sources — (not Ruddy) — who've spoken with Trump as recently as yesterday: Trump hasn't made any final decisions yet. The president has, however, lost confidence in the VA Secretary and is strongly inclined towards replacing him.

  • Right now, Trump is happy to watch Shulkin twist in the wind for a while. Remember how unhappy we told you John Kelly and others have been about Shulkin's handling of internal problems in his department and especially his freelancing to the New York Times? A prolonged period of job insecurity and public humiliation is a uniquely Trumpian form of payback.
  • The White House — specifically the president, Kelly, the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, and the director of Trump's Domestic Policy Council Andrew Bremberg — have been asking allies for names of people they'd recommend to replace Shulkin.

Behind the scenes: Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter, another Mar-a-Lago friend of the president's, is playing a major backstage role in shaping Trump's thinking about Shulkin. Perlmutter originally recommended Shulkin to Trump, but a source familiar with his thinking tells me Perlmutter "feels betrayed by Shulkin and regrets ever putting his name in front of the president."

  • Trump spent time yesterday with Perlmutter at Mar-a-Lago, and the two discussed various pressing issues at the VA, according to a source with knowledge of their meeting.
  • Perlmutter has recommended at least one potential Shulkin replacement to the White House, according to two sources with direct knowledge.

Go deeper

The Democratic fight to shape Biden's climate policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Left-wing climate activists don't want Joe Biden getting advice from people with credentials they don't like — and they're increasingly going public with their campaign.

Why it matters: Nobody is confusing Biden with President Trump, and his climate platform goes much further than anything contemplated in the Obama years.

16 mins ago - Sports

Factions form with college football season in the balance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With college football on the brink, Monday saw an outpouring of support for playing a fall season from numerous parties, including President Trump, Ohio State coach Ryan Day and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

Yes, but: Monday also saw the Mountain West Conference become the second FBS league to postpone fall sports, and the Big Ten and Pac-12 are expected to make the same decision as early as this morning.

Democrats announce full list of convention speakers

Barack and Michelle Obama at a 2017 Obama Foundation event. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will headline two nights of the Democratic National Convention, according to a full list of speakers released by the party on Tuesday.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Margaret Talev: It signals how much the Democratic Party is still the party of Barack Obama — and how strongly Biden’s team feels the Obamas can validate his vice presidential choice and energize the party’s base.