Mike Coffman encouraged by reports that Trump might fire embattled VA secretary

Mike Coffman encouraged by reports that Trump might fire embattled VA secretary

With the capital reeling from the abrupt firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speculation swirled Tuesday night that President Donald Trump may continue the shakeup by firing his veterans secretary and moving Rick Perry to that troubled department.

Shulkin has been struggling with political appointees at his department, some of whom allegedly oppose his policies and are seeking his ouster.

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is fighting against an uprising within the department as well as official reports he misused taxpayer funds and committed other ethics violations. A series of ill-conceived media contacts, however, may have damaged his relationship with the White House beyond fix, potentially leading to yet another high-profile ouster.

He came under scrutiny last month for what an internal VA report called "serious derelictions" in a trip he took to Europe. If no one told him of the problems, those who kept the information from him should be fired.

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Amid the atmosphere of suspicion, Shulkin has canceled morning meetings with senior Trump-appointed staffers, choosing instead to convene with aides whom he "trusts not to miscast his remarks", the Post reported on Friday.

A Shulkin adviser referred questions about this report to the White House.

Coffman, who has consistently hammered the VA over its over-budget and behind-schedule construction of the new VA hospital in Aurora, said Shulkin made Americans trust the department even less because of his actions and said it was time to "clean house" at the time.

As recently as last week, after a series of meetings with John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, Dr. Shulkin publicly declared victory, hinting that he had the White House's support to remove officials battling him. "People need to get on board. or need to leave", he told the paper. "He wants Shulkin to just shut up and stop causing drama".

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