(From The Guardian)
The former veterans affairs secretary David Shulkin has disputed the White House’s characterisation of his departure earlier this week, stating firmly he was fired and did not resign.
Shulkin appeared on both CNN and NBC on Sunday, after White House officials told Politico on Saturday he had resigned his position.
The distinction between the two versions of events could have serious ramifications for the already embattled department, a vast agency with close to a $200bn budget. Trump is seeking to bypass Shulkin’s deputy and appoint defense department official Robert Wilkie to lead the VA while his personal physician, Dr Ronny Jackson, goes through the confirmation process.
If Shulkin was fired, as the president himself has implied on Twitter, Trump may not be legally entitled to make such an appointment due to vague language in federal legislation governing temporary positions in government agencies.