ENERGY/ETHICS/JUSTICE DEPARTMENT/NOMINATIONS/RICK PERRY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VA: “President Donald Trump is considering replacing Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin with candidates including Energy Secretary Rick Perry, according to an administration official, after an inspector general’s report last month said Dr. Shulkin had misspent taxpayer money during an official trip to Europe last year.
The official said the discussions of replacing Dr. Shulkin are ‘not very far along,’ and another person familiar with the matter said other names are also in the mix. That person said Mr. Perry’s wasn’t the name that came up the most frequently in the discussions…
For much of Mr. Trump’s first year in office, Dr. Shulkin had been a bright spot in the cabinet… Last month, an inspector general’s report concluded that Dr. Shulkin had improperly accepted a gift of Wimbledon tennis tickets, misspent taxpayer money and misused department resources while traveling in Europe.
The report also said Dr. Shulkin’s chief of staff, Vivieca Wright Simpson, had made false claims to a VA ethics official by altering an email to get official approval for Dr. Shulkin’s wife to take part in the trip as an ‘invitational traveler,’ a status that meant the VA would cover her expenses. Her airfare cost taxpayers $4,312.
The inspector general referred the matter involving Ms. Simpson to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution; that agency opted not to prosecute the case, the report said.”
-Rebecca Ballhaus, “Trump Considers Ousting Veterans Affairs Chief,” The Wall Street Journal online, Mar. 13, 2018 07:23pm