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Trump reportedly to nominate Wilkie to be head the VA

By Jenna Johnson | Washington Post
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced Friday that he plans to nominate Department of Veterans Affairs Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie to become the department’s permanent leader, noting that the decision may come as a surprise to Wilkie.
“I’ll be informing him in a little while – 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 at a Friday morning event at the White House that Wilkie attended. The president added that Wilkie has done “an incredible job” as the acting secretary.

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As the crowd applauded the announcement, Wilkie stood to shake the president’s hand, nodding his head as he did so. Wilkie then received a standing ovation.
“Fantastic,” Trump said. “I’m sorry that I ruined the surprise.”
Trump named Wilkie VA’s acting secretary in March, upon firing David Shulkin. Wilkie, 55, moved into the job from the Defense Department, where he was undersecretary for personnel and readiness.
Wilkie is the son of an Army artillery commander who was wounded in combat. He served as an intelligence officer in the Navy before joining the Air Force Reserve and has worked as a senior leader at the Pentagon under former defense secretaries Robert Gates and Donald H. Rumsfeld.
In a short video address last month to VA’s 360,000 employees, he implored staff to improve internal communication so the agency is best positioned to address the needs of its clientele.
The Washington Post’s Emily Thibodeaux-Wax contributed to this report.

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