President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted his former VA secretary and said she is failing the nation.
In a tweet, the president said Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin “was one of the worst and most incompetent people I have ever met.”
“Secretary Shulkins incompetent leadership will cost lives,” he said.
Shulks departure has been controversial among veterans groups, particularly because she left a VA system that he oversaw in a scandal that left some veterans sickened.
The president said he plans to ask VA Secretary David Shuls for a replacement, and said he will do so soon.
“David Shulki is failing at his job,” Trump said.
“I will appoint a new VA Secretary that will fix the VA!
He is failing!”
Trump said Shulkes performance has led to the deaths of some of his VA patients and has caused an increase in deaths at the VA, which was under his leadership before the scandal erupted.
“She has failed our veterans and the nation,” Trump tweeted.
Shuls’ departure comes less than a month after the president made a surprise trip to Florida, where he held a fundraiser for his reelection campaign.
In an interview with The Associated Press, he said he has “no plans to resign” as VA Secretary.
Shuliks departure comes as Shulkas first deputy, Andrew Shapiro, resigned Tuesday after he was accused of sexual misconduct and a separate allegation that he inappropriately touched a female aide.
Shapiro has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and a misdemeanor count of misconduct in office.
The Associated White House press secretary said Shuls will not be the next VA secretary, despite reports that he may be.
“Secretary David Shuliak is leaving the VA,” White House spokesman Ian Prior said.
A source familiar with the discussions told The Associated News that Shulaks departure has prompted concerns from other VA leaders.
Shula’s departure is a significant blow to Shulakis efforts to make VA more efficient, according to officials familiar with his strategy.
Shaulks leadership, according an internal VA memo obtained by AP, has “been a source of frustration for all the VA leaders.”
Shulak’s predecessor, Secretary David T. Cohen, who was fired after an internal investigation, has been praised for his work in revamping the VA.
But Shulka has repeatedly criticized the VA and called for reforms, including hiring a new administrator and cutting staffing levels.
Shuling resigned in October amid mounting criticism that the agency is failing veterans and public health.
Shulas departure is the latest shakeup to VA since Trump took office.
ShULAK’S SITUATION Shulinsky, a Virginia native, has served as the VA’s deputy secretary since April, when the VA announced a $10 billion plan to fix VA medical care and health care systems that he said were “inadequate, out of date, inefficient, inefficient and not working for veterans.”
Shuliaks hiring, though, was criticized by veterans groups who say he did not do enough to fix the problem and has not had an independent, outside watchdog.
Shulinas performance has prompted an increase among deaths at VA hospitals.
The VA has not yet released details about the number of deaths in the last three years, but officials have said more than 10,000 veterans have died in the VA system in the past year.
The department has also said it is investigating dozens of deaths and has been criticized by lawmakers and veterans groups for the delays in responding to veterans who had died.
Shullkas resignation comes amid mounting pressure on the VA over its handling of the VA scandal.
Last month, a federal judge ordered VA Secretary Sloan Gibson to provide the VA with a list of veterans who have died since March 2019, including deaths involving veterans with mental illness.
Shulus resignation came a day after the VA said it had opened an investigation into an alleged sexual assault by an employee.
A VA inspector general report, released Tuesday, said the employee, who worked at a VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, failed to investigate or notify a supervisor or other officials when he engaged in sexual contact with the woman.
It said the incident occurred after Shuligans firing in 2015, but did not provide details about when or where the woman reported it.
Shuluks resignation comes just days after the department said it would suspend the hiring of a new inspector general for an additional month to review “patterns of inappropriate behavior” by VA employees.
Shadi Shulik, a retired Navy lieutenant colonel, was appointed VA inspector in January.
He was the first woman to serve in the position.
Shuler’s resignation came as Trump faced growing criticism over the VA after a scathing report by a federal watchdog accused the department of violating veterans’ rights, failing to provide timely treatment and failing to address veterans’ medical needs.
The inspector general said the VA had not implemented new screening procedures, but Shulike’s report found that the VA did not have enough staff to meet the needs of its veterans.
The Trump administration also