WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is considering whether to fire his secretary of veterans affairs and replace him with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, a New York Times report said on Tuesday, citing two sources close to the White House.
David Shulkin, the veterans affairs secretary, has been investigated by his department’s inspector general, which last month said he improperly accepted tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament last summer during a government trip to Europe.
If Shulkin is fired it would be the latest major shakeup in the Trump administration. Early on Tuesday, Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after a series of rifts over policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran.
Perry had lunch with Trump at the White House on Monday. Department of Energy spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said she would not comment on what the two talked about. The energy department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the report, nor did the White House.
Trump did not make a formal offer to Perry when the two men met on Monday, the report said.
Perry was an Air Force pilot before becoming the longest serving governor of Texas. Shortly after becoming president last year Trump had considered Perry for the veterans affairs secretary job.
The VA inspector general had opened an investigation into leadership at the department after receiving an anonymous complaint accusing Shulkin of misusing travel funds because the trip to Europe, which cost at least $122,344, was more personal than business.
Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by James Dalgleish