After President Donald Trump’s last nominee for VA Secretary withdrew from consideration over numerous allegations about his personal conduct and prescribing habits, Trump has picked Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to take over the role.
Trump made the announcement before he was scheduled to speak about prison reform, quipping that Wilkie himself didn’t know about the nomination and he had “ruined the surprise.”
“Acting Secretary Wilkie, who by the way has done an incredible job, and by the way I’ll be informing him in a little while—he doesn’t know this yet—that we’ll be putting his name up for nomination,” the president said.
Wilkie has been serving as acting secretary ever since David Shulkin, MD, left the post in March. After the controversy surrounding Trump’s next pick, White House physician Ronny Jackson, MD, he’s chosen a man in Wilkie who has already been confirmed by the Senate for his current role (Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at the Department of Defense) and someone who’s known to Senate Republicans, having worked under Sen. Thom Thills, R-North Carolina, as well as former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.