It’s no secret that some White House staff, along with Department of Veterans Affairs staff sent over as political appointees by the White House, really don’t like VA Secretary David Shulkin, a rare holdover from the Obama administration (in which he headed up the VA health system). And the feeling is mutual, as Axios reported earlier this month:
[Shulkin] has cut off communication with about a half dozen key people at the VA. They include Press Secretary Curt Cashour, Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs John Ullyot, Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs Brooks Tucker, senior adviser Jake Leinenkugel, and a senior adviser at the Veterans Health Administration Camilo Sandoval. And now, his relationship with the White House is more frayed than ever.
It’s gotten so bad, according to the Washington Post (which describes the internal opposition to the secretary from political appointees as a “mutiny”) that Shulkin has posted an armed guard outside his office door.
What’s it all about? Well, obviously, the personalities in the top tier of VA have some issues with each other, and Shulkin’s holdover status doesn’t help. Shulkin has also been hit with some ethics allegations of the type to which this