Shulkin: Trump Didn’t Tell Me I Was Fired In Phone Call On Day Of My Ouster

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 8: Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 08, 2018. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
The Washington Post/The Washington Post

Ousted Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Thursday night that he did get a call from President Donald Trump on the day of his firing but that the President didn’t mention he would be fired.

“We spoke about the progress that I was making, what I needed to do from a policy perspective,” Shulkin told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes about his Wednesday phone call with Trump. “He was very inquisitive about the things that we were working on, making sure that we were focused on the job at hand.”

“He made no mention of the fact that he was about to terminate you?” Hayes then asked.

“That’s correct,” Shulkin replied.

Shulkin said that chief of staff John Kelly called him to let him know that he would be fired “right before” Trump announced it on Twitter.

Trump also avoided personally telling Rex Tillerson that he would be fired as secretary of state. White House officials said that Kelly gave Tillerson a heads up about his firing, but State Department officials contended that Kelly’s call was merely a vague warning and that Tillerson found out from Trump’s tweet.

Watch Shulkin’s comments via MSNBC:

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