White House Communications Adviser Mercedes Schlapp said Monday that Chief of Staff John Kelly gave former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin a chance to resign before President Trump decided to replace him.
“General Kelly called Secretary Shulkin and gave him the opportunity to resign. Obviously, the key here is the president has made a decision. He wanted a change in the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Mrs. Schlapp said on Fox News.
Mr. Shulkin was removed from his post last week for what he believes are political reasons. He said Sunday that he never submitted or offered to submit a letter of resignation. The administration pushed back saying the ongoing ethics investigation into Mr. Shulkin’s travel expenses was becoming a problem and distracting from the department’s message.
“Now, it’s on to what we need to do, which is moving forward and making sure that veterans have more affordable choices, that they’re able to … reduce the backlog and make sure that veterans don’t have to wait extensive periods of times to get the service and the quality of service that they need,” Mrs. Schlapp said.
Mrs. Schlapp, a former columnist for The Washington Times, stopped writing for the newspaper when she accepted her position with the White House.