VA Secretary David Shulkin has reportedly begun to irritate senior White House officials because of his response to the agency's scandals.
- Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has reportedly left a bad impression on President Donald Trump.
- Shulkin, an Obama-holdover who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, has reportedly begun to irritate senior White House officials because of his response to the agency's scandals.
- Current and former VA employees have also emailed unconfirmed statements of mismanagement stemming from the agency.
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has reportedly begun to draw ire from President Donald Trump following a spate of scandals in his agency, according to an Axios report on Sunday.
Shulkin, a holdover from the Obama administration and the only Cabinet nominee who was unanimously confirmed, is believed to be on Trump's firing line after an inspector general report concluded he improperly accepted tickets to a Wimbledon tennis match during a government-funded trip with his wife.
Meanwhile, Shulkin reportedly believes that Trump appointees within the department have been conspiring against him and embarked on a campaign to purge the VA of disloyal employees. Following reports of turmoil within the VA, Business Insider began receiving statements of alleged misconduct and mismanagement from current and former employees.
Though their accounts are largely unconfirmed, these employees claim they are "being forced out and made to suffer" and that Shulkin was "responsible for the mismanagement."
White House chief of staff John Kelly reportedly met with Shulkin last week and counseled him to curb the drama, sources told Axios. Following the meeting at the White House, Shulkin conducted an interview with The New York Times, in which he claimed the White House granted him approval to remove staffers who did not support him.
Kelly, who found out about The Times's article after he was contacted by reporters, reportedly called Shulkin following the interview and believed the secretary exploited the White House meeting, Axios reported.
Following an outbreak of negative press coverage, Shulkin hired additional lawyers and an outside public relations firm to fend off reports of internal quibbles and to help with the fallout.
But Shulkin's problems may have only begun to unravel, as a new internal report is believed to in the works, according to The Daily Beast. The report is said to shed light on a renewed scrutiny over his use of the department's resources, which may involve his alleged use of a security detail to run personal errands.
Shulkin reportedly began acting erratically and is "extremely paranoid" amid the release of the report, and is believed to have ordered an armed guard to stand outside of his office.