Could This Be the Next Cabinet Member Booted?

White House deputy press secretary downplays rumors of Shulkin's imminent departure
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2018 12:56 PM CDT
VA Secretary May Be Next Cabinet Member Out
In this March 7, 2018, file photo, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks at a news conference at the Washington Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, file)

Reports were out over the weekend that Veterans Affairs secretary David Shulkin may be the next Cabinet member to get the boot, but White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley downplayed those reports Monday—somewhat. "We all serve at the pleasure of the president. If he is not pleased, you‘ll know it," Gidley said on Fox News, according to Politico. "At this point in time though, he does have confidence in Dr. Shulkin. He is a secretary and he has done some great things at the VA. As you know, the president wants to put the right people in the right place at the right time and that could change."

Sources told CNN and the AP over the weekend that Trump planned to oust Shulkin, possibly as early as this week, but that he wanted to have a replacement selected first. Pressed on that subject, Gidley said, "When the president wants to make a change, he will make it. ... Whether he has a replacement or not, he can still make a change." Shulkin has been under fire due to accusations of excessive spending and policy differences with the White House, leading to friction within his department. (Trump was at one point reportedly considering Energy Secretary Rick Perry as Shulkin's replacement.)

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