Trump taps VA secretary nominee

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May 19, 2018 - 7:13 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday he has chosen Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to permanently lead the beleaguered department, a surprise announcement that appeared to catch Wilkie off guard.

Wilkie, a former Pentagon undersecretary for personnel and readiness, has led the department since Trump fired David Shulkin in March amid an ethics scandal and mounting rebellion within the building.

Trump revealed his decision during a prison reform event at the White House, and said it was a surprise to Wilkie. “He doesn’t know this yet — that we’re going to be putting his name up for nomination to be secretary of the veterans’ administration,” Trump said.

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