President Donald Trump is expected to fire VA Secretary David Shulkin and is strongly considering replacing him with U.S. Army Veteran Pete Hegseth, according to three sources who spoke to Townhall under the condition of anonymity. It has been rumored former Texas Governor Rick Perry is also on the list for the job.
It has been widely reported President Trump called Hegseth on Monday during a meeting with Shulkin in the Oval Office to go over options for reform. According to Axios, Trump specifically asked Hegseth to analyze new VA legislation while Shulkin listened in on speaker phone.
Since Shulkin took over, the VA has continued to be riddled with scandal and a number of reports show veterans are still dying as a result of bad care. The Secretary has also come under fire for lavish taxpayer spending on personal trips.
Hegseth was an original contender to lead the agency during the Trump transition into the White House and worked for years as the President of Concerned Veterans for America on VA reform. At the time, he was backed by a number of VA whistleblowers for the position. Hegseth has been deployed overseas three times and served in Guantanamo Bay. He is an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran with two Bronze Stars. He is currently the weekend host for Fox and Friends and a senior analyst for Fox News.
In recent weeks, the heat on Shulkin has increased as the White House and President Trump have lost patience with his lack of performance. Trump campaigned on VA reform and sources say Shulkin is a creature of government averse to accountability or private care options.
Shulkin is the only Trump Cabinet member who remains after being held over from the Obama administration. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate last year.