What are they going to do now, fire him?
Trump’s cowardly firing-via-Twitter of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin backfired, and now, so is the White House’s attempt to lie their way out of a jam.
The firing of Shulkin reportedly leaves Trump’s choice of an acting director open to legal challenge, so on Saturday, the White House told Politico that “Secretary Shulkin resigned from his position as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
That fiction lasted only a matter of hours, as Shulkin exposed the White House’s lie during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday morning.
Asked if he’d been fired or resigned, Shulkin told Tapper: “I would not resign because I’m committed to making sure this job was seen through to the very end.”
“So you were fired?” Tapper asked.
Shulkin replied: “I did not resign.”
The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 gives Trump the ability to select an acting replacement for a Senate-confirmable position if such an official “dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office.”
But the law is silent on the issue of a fired Cabinet official. Absent a hand-picked replacement, the law says that “the first assistant to the office of such officer shall perform the functions and duties of the office temporarily in an acting capacity.”
Unfortunately for Trump, his shoddy treatment of Shulkin — just the latest to be fired in cowardly fashion — has left the former VA secretary with little incentive to cover for Trump’s lies.