President Donald Trump was eager for changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs and toyed with issuing an executive order early in his term to close parts of VA’s health system without consulting Congress.
That’s according to an upcoming book by former VA Secretary David Shulkin that was obtained by The Associated Press.
The book describes an Oval Office conversation on March 6, 2017, where Trump explored ways he could quickly close VA medical centers he viewed as poorly performing. When Shulkin said legislation barred that, Trump said he’d use an executive order or declare a national emergency, the book says.
Shulkin says he was able to dissuade Trump. But Shulkin says changes made to the VA since his firing last year have put veterans closer to much worse care.