Trump Taps VA Chief Of Staff To Run Agency As Nominee Awaits Confirmation

on November 3, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.
John Moore/Getty Images North America

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is naming the chief of staff of the Department of Veterans Affairs to lead the agency on an acting basis while the president’s nominee awaits Senate confirmation.

The White House says Trump has designated Peter O’Rourke to serve as acting VA secretary effective Tuesday. Trump tapped acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to serve as permanent secretary earlier this month.

Wilkie cannot run the agency on an acting basis while he awaits Senate confirmation.

Wilkie has led the VA since Trump fired David Shulkin in March amid an ethics scandal. Trump then turned to Ronny Jackson, the Navy doctor who had been his personal physician, but Jackson withdrew following questions about his professionalism.

Wilkie is a former Pentagon undersecretary. O’Rourke formerly led the VA’s new accountability office.

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