VA Secretary Shulkin to Resign, Trump to Nominate His Personal Physician

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
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Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks at a news conference in Washington earlier this month. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin will resign soon, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, adding that he will nominate his personal physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, to succeed him.

White House officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Shulkin had become a distraction due to a constant wave of speculation about his future. They said an undersecretary at the Department of Defense, Robert Wilkie, will be the acting secretary.

Jackson, a rear admiral of the U.S. Navy, has been working as a presidential physician since the George W. Bush administration, and has monitored Trump’s health since Trump became president.

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White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson speaking at a press briefing in January. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“Admiral Jackson is highly trained and qualified and as a service member himself, he has seen firsthand the tremendous sacrifice our veterans make and has a deep appreciation for the debt our great country owes them,” Trump said.

Trump said he appreciated Shulkin’s work, including passage of the VA Accountability Act.