President Donald Trump announced Wednesday evening he has fired David Shulkin as Secretary of Veterans Affairs and plans to replace him with Admiral Ronny L. Jackson.
“I am pleased to announce that I intend to nominate highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs,” he said on Twitter. “In the interim, Hon. Robert Wilkie of DOD will serve as Acting Secretary. I am thankful for Dr. David Shulkin’s service to our country and to our GREAT VETERANS.”
….In the interim, Hon. Robert Wilkie of DOD will serve as Acting Secretary. I am thankful for Dr. David Shulkin’s service to our country and to our GREAT VETERANS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
President Trump said in a statement that he appreciates Shulkin’s work and “the many great things we did together at Veterans Affairs, including the VA Accountability Act that he was helpful in getting passed.”
Shulkin’s firing is the latest in a series of recent shake-ups in the Trump administration beginning with the president’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 13. Trump also decided to replace his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
Jackson, like McMaster is an active-duty military officer. He has served as the Physician to the President since 2013, and held a highly-viewed press conference about the president’s health earlier this year.
Robert Wilkie, who will serve in his place until he takes office, is currently the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, which includes advising the Secretary of Defense on the areas of health affairs, welfare, and quality of life for military families.