Trump dismisses David Shulkin as veterans' affairs secretary

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Donald Trump has announced that he will replace Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin with Ronny Jackson, who now serves as physician to the US President, the media reported.

Trump thanked Shulkin for his service and said Robert Wilkie will serve as acting secretary.

"I appreciate the work of Dr. David Shulkin and the many great things we did together at Veterans Affairs, including the VA Accountability Act that he was helpful in getting passed", said Trump in a public statement released by the White House, according to CBS News.

Sacked US Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has fired a parting shot at President Donald Trump in media interviews.

Jackson began his active duty naval service in 1995 at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virginia.

In 2005, the Navy said Jackson joined the 2nd Marines Combat Logistics Regiment 25 in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and that he deployed from there to Iraq as the war was underway before Bush tapped him for a White House role. He was one of the few senior officials in the Trump administration who had also served during the presidency of Barack Obama.

Jackson gave Trump a clean bill of health after performing his first medical exam of his presidency.

The inspector general's report found that Mr Shulkin and his wife used an official trip to Europe last summer to sightsee and improperly accepted tickets for the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Asked about the report, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on 7 March said Shulkin "has done a great job".

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Another advantage for Jackson: He has a very high security clearance because of his regular proximity to the president and his access to Trump's full health history, said two people familiar with the matter.

Shulkin made the decision in June 2017 to award a sole-source contract to Cerner to replace the legacy Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture with a single common EHR system with the Department of Defense based on Cerner's Millennium platform.

Shulkin, who worked for around 13 months in Trump's cabinet, had been under pressure after a report from an internal watchdog revealed "serious derelictions by VA personnel" on a trip to London and Denmark a year ago.

The spotlight last landed on Jackson when he fielded questions from reporters at the White House on Trump's physical in January.

"The administration needs to be ready to prove that he's qualified to run such a massive agency, a $200 billion bureaucracy", he added.

AMVETS, the congressionally-chartered veterans service organization, expressed its deep concerns regarding President Trump's firing of Shulkin and questioned whether the sudden change in leadership at the VA threatens ongoing reforms.

Early this month, Trump had unceremoniously fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominated Mike Pompeo, the CIA Director, for the top diplomatic position in his cabinet.

Denny Geisman, a United States army veteran, welcomed President Trump's choice of replacement.

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