Pressure is growing on President Trump to replace Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, with reports that Energy Secretary Rick Perry is being considered as a replacement and an influential Republican calling for Shulkin to be fired.
The backdrop: As we reported this weekend, Trump has become increasingly fed up with Shulkin in recent days. A source with direct knowledge confirms the New York Times report that Trump has mentioned Perry as a possible replacement but other names are in the mix. Some senior staff will try to talk Trump out of picking Perry because that would mean two more confirmation votes (for Perry and his replacement) in addition to votes for the new secretary of State.
Why Perry? The head of the Energy Department came to Washington to keep his head down — and has kept Trump happy. Trump likes that Perry has a good relationship with Marcus Luttrell, the war hero whose story is told in the movie "Lone Survivor," and has been a strong advocate for veterans' issues.
- People expected him to come to DC and get media profiles, but he's stayed diligently out of headlines. Trump believes he's knowledgable on the issues and likes him.
Yes, but: The president has also been heard throwing around other names as potential replacements for Shulkin. Just remember: this is Trumpworld, where nothing is ever final until Trump makes — or tweets — his decision. Perry's spokeswoman had no comment.
Sources told the AP the Veterans Affairs department’s inspector general is probing allegations that Shulkin asked a member of his security detail to run personal errands at a Home Depot and carry furniture items to his house