Thursday, October 17, 2019

I Ran the VA Under President Trump Until He Fired Me

Dr. David Shulkin served as Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President Trump and is the author of It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Serve Your Country.
Around 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, I received a call telling me I was expected at Trump Tower in New York at 2 p.m. that afternoon. After about an hour of sustained panic driving with my wife Merle on snow-covered roads from Philadelphia, my cell phone rang. It was Reince Priebus.
 “Sorry not to have called sooner, but we’re all set. You’ll be meeting with the president-elect on Monday at 2:00 p.m.” Monday, not today.
We found the nearest exit, turned around and headed back home.

Later that afternoon, Priebus called again, this time with some questions for me — mainly, it seemed, to help him figure out how I had gotten on his call list. He wanted to know how I knew Trump. I told him I didn’t. He seemed perplexed that I had no connection to the Trump campaign. He also wanted to know how I became under secretary for Obama. Without commenting on any of my answers, Priebus asked me to meet with him for lunch on Monday prior to my meeting with the president-elect.

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