While on the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to fix the VA, which he said was in “very bad shape” but like most of the former reality show star’s vows, the exact opposite is happening. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has reportedly cut off contact with top agency officials amid concerns of a mutiny and tensions mounting with top staff, so he is now operating out of an office with an armed guard at the door, according to The Washington Post. But if you ask Trump, he’ll tell you that there’s ‘no chaos’ in his administration.
Shulkin, the only Obama-era holdover left in Trump’s cabinet, was promoted to the head job by Trump. Shulkin has canceled morning meetings with top Trump appointees in the department and it’s been weeks since he’s spoken to his public affairs chief.
He has revoked access for several people to his office who he has accused of lobbying the White House to oust him and he has placed an armed guard out front.
Shulkin, a favorite of Trump’s, is in a standoff which he could lose.
This is a reality show, not a presidency:
Although those who want him gone say their focus is fulfilling the president’s priorities, it has become clear that one side — whether it’s Shulkin, who is the only Obama administration holdover in Trump’s Cabinet, or his estranged management team — is unlikely to survive the standoff.”
“This is salacious conspiracy, and it’s treason,” said Louis Celli, national director of veterans affairs for the American Legion.
The organization’s leaders have reportedly informed the White House that they will, if necessary, picket outside with signs displaying the names of those they want removed from the department.
Shulkin is looking to fire at least six of his senior managers and said that he’s been assured by White House chief of staff John Kelly that terminating disloyal staffers is within his authority. But officials in the administration say that Kelly has said that he does not have that power.
The paper reports that some of Trump’s appointees feel that working for the department has become “toxic” and they are seeking other jobs within the administration.
Shulkin has his own scandals to deal with. He recently had to mail a $4,312 check to the government after misusing funds to cover the cost of his wife’s airfare.
Everything Trump touches turns to sh-t. It’s like the Bundy standoff but in the Trump administration.
Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.