WASHINGTON — Officials from one of the nation’s largest veterans groups are calling for President Donald Trump to remove the acting Veterans Affairs secretary from the post and instead hand over control to the department’s deputy secretary, saying that is “what the law calls for.”
Leaders from AMVETS on Tuesday are sending a letter to the White House insisting the change is needed to calm fears of veterans and VA employees in the wake of the firing of David Shulkin last week.
Following Shulkin’s firing, Trump nominated White House physician Ronny Jackson as the next VA secretary, and Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Robert Wilkie to serve as acting secretary until the confirmation process is complete.
But the announcement bypassed VA Deputy Secretary Tom Bowman, who was the next in line to take over the top leadership post. White House officials have not addressed the legal justification for a move, saying only that Wilkie has been working in the role since last Thursday.
On Tuesday, AMVETS Executive Director Joe Chenelly said administration officials erred in moving Wilkie from