Department of Veterans Affairs

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ProPublica Unmasks Political 'Arrangement Without Parallel'

Claims the shadowy 'Mar-a-Lago Crowd' are exerting influence over the VA

(Newser) - "On any veterans issue, the first person the president calls is Ike," says a former administration official. If the name Ike doesn't ring a bell, at least in relation to Veterans Affairs, that's appropriate. A ProPublica expose by Isaac Arnsdorf explains he's "reclusive" Marvel... More »

Government's 2nd-Largest Department Gets a Leader

Senate confirms Robert Wilkie as head of Veterans Affairs

(Newser) - The government's second largest department once again has a leader. The Senate voted 86-9 Monday to confirm Robert Wilkie as the 10th secretary of Veterans Affairs, filling a post that was previously occupied by David Shulkin. President Trump's original pick to replace Shulkin, White House physician Ronny Jackson,... More »

Veteran Sets Self on Fire Outside Georgia Capitol

He suffered burns to at least 85% of his body

(Newser) - A man claiming to be an Air Force veteran upset with the Department of Veterans Affairs set himself on fire in front of the Georgia Capitol on Tuesday, suffering burns to at least 85% of his body. Authorities say 58-year-old John Michael Watts parked a vehicle and started walking toward... More »

Trump's New Pick for VA Is Much Less Controversial

Acting director Robert Wilkie asked to lead the agency permanently

(Newser) - Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie is President Trump's pick to permanently lead the beleaguered department. Wilkie is a former Pentagon undersecretary for personnel and readiness, and a former adviser to GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina. He's led the agency for two months, ever since Trump... More »

Amid 'False' Accusations, Trump's VA Pick Drops Out

White House physician Ronny Jackson says allegations against him have become a 'distraction'

(Newser) - The so-called "Candyman" won't be getting a sweet gig in the Trump administration after all. Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician who became the president's pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his nomination amid misconduct allegations, per the Hill . Jackson put out... More »

White House Defends Jackson, Quotes Obama

More allegations against VA pick surface

(Newser) - Hours after President Trump said he would understand if Veterans Affairs nominee Ronny Jackson bowed out, the administration made it clear it was going to continue supporting the White House physician—and even used Barack Obama to defend him. The White House released years of performance reviews, including one in... More »

Trump: My VA Nominee Doesn't Deserve This 'Abuse'

President says he'd understand if Ronny Jackson bows out

(Newser) - The odds of President Trump's Veteran Affairs nominee actually assuming that post seem to be shrinking quickly, and Trump himself said Tuesday he'd understand if White House physician Ronny Jackson bowed out, reports the AP . “If I were him … I wouldn’t do it,” Trump... More »

Source: Allegations Could 'Sink' Trump's VA Choice

Senators delay Ronny Jackson confirmation hearing

(Newser) - Democrats say they are discussing some "raw allegations" against Ronny Jackson, President Trump's nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs—but they're not saying exactly what those allegations involve. "All I can really tell you at this moment is we are continuing the vetting process,... More »

Shulkin: I Really Was Fired. Experts: This Really Matters.

Could Trump be overstepping his bounds?

(Newser) - Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is making it clear he was fired from his job amid conflicting claims from the White House, the AP reports. "We actually spoke the day that he sent the tweet out just a few hours before," Shulkin says of President Trump on... More »

Outgoing VA Chief Takes Parting Shot at White House

David Shulkin says he was forced out over privatization; new pick is 'Doc' Ronny Jackson

(Newser) - That President Trump fired his embattled Veterans Affairs secretary on Wednesday is no big surprise. After all, David Shulkin had been on the outs with the White House over reports of improper spending and policy differences . Far more surprising is Trump's pick to replace him: White House physician Ronny... More »

Trump Fires Head of Veterans Affairs

President says he'll nominate White House doctor as replacement

(Newser) - President Trump is firing Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and replacing him with the White House doctor in the wake of a bruising ethics scandal and a mounting rebellion within the VA, the AP reports. Trump tweeted Wednesday that he intends to nominate "highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson,... More »

Could This Be the Next Cabinet Member Booted?

White House deputy press secretary downplays rumors of Shulkin's imminent departure

(Newser) - 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,... More »

VA Informs Vietnam Vet That He's Dead

This isn't Charles Covell's first experience with a bureaucratic mistake

(Newser) - Federal officials have discovered a North Carolina veteran isn't dead yet. The Fayetteville Observer reported that 81-year-old Charles Covell of Fayetteville was surprised to learn that he had been declared dead by the Veterans Affairs Department last month. Covell's wife realized something was wrong when a monthly disabilities... More »

Embattled VA Secretary May Be on the Way Out

President considers replacing him with Rick Perry, insiders say

(Newser) - President Donald Trump is considering ousting embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who has faced an insurgency within his department and fresh allegations that he used a member of his security detail to run personal errands, the AP reports. Trump has floated the notion of moving Energy Secretary Rick Perry... More »

Why VA Secretary Has Posted Armed Guard Outside His Office

'Nobody trusts each other'

(Newser) - To say things are strained at the VA would be a massive understatement. That's the thrust of a report from the Washington Post , which interviewed 16 Trump administration officials and others. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has lost trust in his senior staff and may be facing a mutiny.... More »

Public Paid for European Trip for VA Head's Wife: Report

After chief of staff allegedly altered email, made false statements

(Newser) - Taxpayers footed the bill for the wife of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to go on a 10-day European trip with her husband after his chief of staff altered an email to make it look like he was getting an award from the Danish government. The Washington Post reports that... More »

Opioid Theft Still Rampant at VA Centers: Report

New AP investigation shows that rate more than double private sector despite crackdown

(Newser) - Feds have launched dozens of new criminal investigations into possible opioid and other drug theft by workers at Veterans Affairs hospitals, a sign the problem isn't going away despite new efforts. Data obtained by the AP show 36 cases opened by the VA inspector general's office from Oct.... More »

Trump Signs Executive Order to Protect VA Whistleblowers

President says people 'who fail our veterans' will now be held accountable

(Newser) - President Trump says he sent a "strong message" Thursday by signing an executive order that creates an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection within the Department of Veterans Affairs, the AP reports. Trump says through the new office people "who fail our veterans" will be held accountable for... More »

US Will Pay $2.2B to Marines Sickened by Toxic Water

900K were exposed over more than 30 years

(Newser) - The Obama administration has agreed to provide disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion to veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Beginning in March, the cash payouts from the Department of Veterans Affairs may supplement VA health care already being... More »

Vet's Body Left in Shower 9 Hours, Inquiry Says

Florida VA employees accused of trying to cover up incident

(Newser) - Following a death in the hospice unit of Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in Florida in February, a veteran's body was moved to a hallway, and then to a shower room. There it sat unattended for nine hours before hospice officials realized and attempted to hide their mistake, a... More »

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