In an op-ed published late Wednesday night, outgoing Veteran's Affairs Secretary David Shulkin ripped into the "toxic" politicized nature of Washington, D.C., saying the atmosphere in the nation's capitol makes it near impossible to get anything done, and that he was forced out because he opposed privatization of veterans' services.
He called it "toxic, chaotic, disrespectful and subversive".
Shulkin wrote he and his family were the subject of "politically based attacks".
Shulkin's tenure wasn't without scandal.
The IG released findings February 14 that Shulkin violated ethical standards on an official trip that he and his wife took to Denmark and London during summer. Shulkin agreed to reimburse the government more than $4,000 in that case.
He addressed the IG report Thursday with NPR, claiming the trip was "mischaracterized".
"There was nothing improper about this trip, and I was not allowed to put up an official statement or to even respond to this by the White House".
He vowed to be an advocate of the VA from the outside.
Although he has been serving in the Trump administration, Jackson's time as White House physician carries over from previous presidencies. He then accepted free tickets to the women's finals match at Wimbledon and lied to ethics investigators about his relationship with the person who gave him the tickets.
Jim Welch is the District 8 Commander of the American Legion. He is opposed to privatized care at the VA. Credit Erik Neumann KUER
It has been my greatest professional honor to serve our country's more than 20 million veterans.
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.
As many of you know, I am a physician, not a politician.
Until the past few months, veteran issues were dealt with in a largely bipartisan way.
President replaced David Shulkin as secretary of Veterans Affairs - Photo take from Google images that were labeled for reuse.
Trump has told aides and outside advisers that he is fond of Jackson personally, according to a person familiar with the president's thinking but not authorized to discuss private conversations.
Shulkin noted in his op-ed how the V.A. improved under his watch, citing, among other things, the passage of an improved appeals process for veterans seeking disability benefits; improved trust; lowered veterans unemployment rates; reduced wait times; increased productivity; working closer with the private sector; and improved mental health care.
In particular, Chenelly questioned whether it is appropriate for an active duty military officer to run a federal agency like the VA, while noting that Jackson's official biography does not seem to contain any indication that he's held a command and therefore may not be fully prepared to lead such a massive bureaucracy.
The VA change comes as Trump is trying to expand the Veterans Choice program, fulfilling a campaign promise that major veterans' groups worry could be an unwanted step toward privatizing VA health care.
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