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Fired Veterans Affairs secretary says privatization advocates doomed him

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin testifies in Washington in March. In a New York Times op-ed Thursday, he blasts a "toxic" and "subversive" environment in Washington that made it impossible for him to lead.
(Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press)

Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is blaming his sudden ouster from the Trump administration on “political forces” that he says are bent on privatizing the agency and putting “companies with profits” over veterans’ care.

Shulkin was the lone Obama administration holdover serving in President Trump’s Cabinet. In a New York Times op-ed, he blasts a “toxic” and “subversive” environment in Washington that made it impossible for him to lead.

Trump fired Shulkin with a tweet late Wednesday.

Shulkin says he was undone by privatization advocates within the administration. He says they saw him as an obstacle to privatization who had to be removed.

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The firing comes after the VA’s internal watchdog last month concluded that Shulkin had violated ethics rules during a trip to Europe with his wife.


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