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Ousted VA Chief Says Trump Fired Him over Privatization Push

HeadlineApr 02, 2018

Former U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Sunday he was fired unexpectedly by President Trump—directly contradicting claims by the White House that he resigned, which would determine who would temporarily succeed him. This is David Shulkin, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

David Shulkin: “I came to fight for our veterans, and I had no intention of giving up. There would be no reason for me to resign. I made a commitment, I took an oath, and I was here to fight for our veterans.”

David Shulkin has been speaking out on many networks in a move not seen by other Trump officials who have been ousted. Shulkin says he was fired over his opposition to privatizing the VA—an effort that’s been led by a group called Concerned Veterans for America, which is funded by the billionaire conservative Koch brothers. President Trump has nominated White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson to replace Shulkin, while appointing Pentagon official Robert Wilkie as acting head of the VA. But legal experts say that if Shulkin was fired, Trump’s move may have violated federal law, by bypassing Shulkin’s deputy, who was next in line to succeed him.

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