President Trump announced Wednesday on Twitter that he has ousted Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. Shulkin had been widely rumored to be on the outs, as his department has been consumed by internecine fighting and lack of direction.
"I appreciate the work of Dr. David Shulkin and the many great things we did together at Veterans Affairs," Trump said in a statement accompanying his tweets. On Tuesday night, The Washington Post reported that Shulkin was in "presidential purgatory," as Trump had "told a number of advisers" that he intended to fire Shulkin. His dismissal had been expected for weeks and was apparently delayed partly by uncertainty over who would replace him.
In the end, Trump announced he would nominate Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, who currently serves as the presidential physician, as Shulkin's replacement. Robert Wilkie, an undersecretary in the Department of Defense, will serve until Jackson receives Senate confirmation. Read more about the long, winding road that led to the downfall of Shulkin — who was confirmed in a 100-0 Senate vote last year — at Vox.