VA Secretary David Shulkin may be on his way out and it looks like President Trump has a replacement in mind.
The president is “strongly considering” U.S. Army veteran and “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Pete Hegseth as his next Veterans Affairs secretary, Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich wrote on TownHall, citing three unidentified sources on Wednesday.
“President Donald Trump is expected to fire VA Secretary David Shulkin and is strongly considering replacing him with U.S. Army Veteran Pete Hegseth,” Pavlich wrote, and also tweeted to her over 500,000 followers.
I’ve been told President Trump wants Pete Hegseth to replace Shulkin at the VA after he is fired https://t.co/DwsWNQRA3m
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) March 14, 2018
Trump had asked Hegseth to analyze new VA legislation at a meeting in the Oval Office Monday while Shulkin listened in via speaker phone, according to Axios.
“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,” Pavlich wrote.
Hegseth, who has long been a top contender for the position, was the president of Concerned Veterans for America on VA reform. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard, served in Guantanamo Bay and was deployed overseas three times. Hegseth is also an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran with two Bronze Stars.
According to Pavlich:
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.
Energy Secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was also on the list of those being considered, according to Pavlich.
It’s no secret that President Trump is a huge fan of Fox & Friends, and much to the annoyance of many liberals, he tweets praise for the show regularly. The media spin should Hegseth get the position is inevitable:
This is excellent news. And now, brace yourselves for the inevitable “Trump nominated a Fox and Friends host” snark instead of “Trump just nominated a vet and a serious reformer.” https://t.co/yXhrKCkQd5
— James Hasson (@JamesHasson20) March 14, 2018