This is a breaking news story.
President Trump on Friday announced he was nominating Robert Wilkie as the next VA secretary.
President Trump makes surprise announcement that he will nominate Robert Wilkie as next VA secretary during White House event https://t.co/gdpacO1BHA
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 18, 2018
Wilkie currently serves as the Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs and also as the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
Wilkie, a lawyer and an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, was nominated for his Defense Department post by President George W. Bush in 2006.
His nomination as VA Secretary follows the nomination and subsequent withdrawal of nomination from White House doctor and Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson.
Jackson’s nomination had been embroiled in controversy leading up to his Senate confirmation, which was eventually postponed.
Despite Presidents Barack Obama and Trump’s praise of their experience with Jackson, rumors turned into unverified claims of workplace misconduct such as having drinks on the job and overprescribing sleeping pills to patients, which created an untenable situation for Jackson.
Jackson was said to return to the White House staff but would not serve as Trump’s doctor.
Jackson was nominated after Trump fired former VA Secretary David Shulkin.
It has been rumored for weeks that Shulkin was on thin ice over using taxpayer dollars partially to fund a vacation to Europe for his wife, slow progress and intense VA infighting.