After President Donald Trump fired Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., released the following statement. Duckworth is a combat veteran and former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
"Good leaders see problems and try to solve them. Donald Trump sees problems and makes them worse. By once again choosing chaos over consistent leadership, Donald Trump is hurting Veterans around the country.
"Unlike so many Trump appointees, Secretary Shulkin was qualified and prepared for the job he was selected for: leading the largest integrated health care system in the United States and overseeing the administration of benefits to our Veterans and their family members. He made mistakes, for which he has publicly apologized, but he also demonstrated his commitment to our Veterans and to improving the quality of VA services, which is more than I can say about the President or the privatization extremists who pushed Dr. Shulkin out.
"Over the coming weeks, I will carefully review Dr. Jackson’s qualifications to determine whether he has the best interests of our Veterans at heart or whether he, like many in the Trump administration, wants to push VA down the dangerous path of privatization. I will also review whether a currently-serving active duty military officer is eligible to serve as a politically appointed Cabinet Secretary. The next VA Secretary must be able to protect the department from becoming consumed by partisan politics. I hope Dr. Jackson is someone who is willing and able to do that by continuing the important tradition of VA Secretaries working in a bipartisan manner."