He was forced to listen to Schulkin in the midst of a fierce policy dispute at the center of the Agency's mission: how to best serve the more than 9 million veterans cared for by VA. The inspector's general report, which unsettled him and the senior VA staff to carry out a summer trip to Europe? Only noise.
As the president announced on Wednesday that he is launching Shulkin ̵
He told MSNBC that he spoke with the President on the day he was fired and that Trump did not mention that he would soon lose his job. (This message was later communicated in a phone call by John Kelly, the White House chief of staff.) He told NPR that his time at VA had begun strongly, but that "political appointees" inside and outside the agency were trying to " undermine "efforts to improve the care of veterans of the country.
It is noteworthy that Shulkin did not comment negatively on the president himself after considering how he was fired.
And asked by several news agencies, he did not say whether he believes the president could replace him for the task of running an escalating agency that has about 370,000 employees.
"This is a difficult position, there is no doubt about that," he added. "This is one of the most complex organizations out there."
Shulkin's decision to go public with his side of the story is in many ways not surprising. Shulkin was in disagreement with a group of Trump administration officials he had hired in his department and in the White House, which, he says, were working to plan his fall. The officers included two top VA counselors who were responsible for communication at the agency.
With Shulkin in conflict with the men charged with managing his agency's message, he worked out a one-man crisis communication effort from his personal cell phone, talking to reporters to light his page of history Describe What He Saw (19659003) But, as CNN and other news organizations have reported, this is one of the things that put Shulkin on the wrong side of the White House representatives, who were frustrated by Shulkin's public commentary.  Shulkin may be unemployed now, but he has pointed out that his campaign is far from over and he criticizes his critics.