New VA Secretary Will Reassign Several High-Ranking Trump Appointees

on June 27, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

Following his swear-in on Monday, new Veteran’s Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie intends to reassign several high-level staffers who were appointed by President Donald Trump and have been at the heart of ongoing morale issues within the VA, The Washington Post reported.

According to three people familiar with the matter who spoke to the Post, Wilkie told Trump about his plans to shake things up this week in an effort un-politicize the agency that’s been historically viewed as nonpartisan. Wilkie reportedly told Trump about the proposed staffing changes while the two were aboard Air Force One en route to a veterans event in Kansas City, Missouri.

The agency has been leaderless since Trump fired former secretary David Shulkin, an Obama appointee, over ethical issues that Shulkin believes were politicized by Trump-appointees within the agency. Shulkin particularly clashed with Peter O’Rourke, a former Trump campaign worker who was appointed as his second-in-command.

Wilkie reportedly plans to reassign O’Rourke — who has been serving as acting secretary — to a less prominent role within the agency

Read WaPo’s full report here.

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