Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, ousted Veterans Affairs head David Shulkin slapped back at the White House for issuing a statement that he had resigned from his position, saying he was pushed out by President Donald Trump
Speaking with host Jake Tapper, Shulkin explained, “I came to run the Department of Veterans Affairs because I’m committed to veterans and I’m committed to fighting for them. And I would not resign because I’m committed to making sure this job was seen through to the very end.”
CNN host Jake Tapper then pressed Shulkin, asking "So you were fired?”
“I did not resign,” Shulkin responded.
Asked about his proposed replacement, White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, Shulkin refused to endorse his selection, saying that, at the very least, he believes he and Jackson share the same values.
"I know that he cares a lot about veterans and I believe that he will work well with the president," Shulkin explained. "But this is a big job that has to be thought about carefully because one of the problems we've seen in the V.A. is a constant turnover at the top of leadership and when you're trying to make a change in as big an organization as the V.A., you need continuity of leadership."
Asked if he would encourage the Senate to approve Jackson, Shulkin demurred.
"The Senate has to make up their own mind and it's important to follow the process which is to do a proper vetting and I don't think there should be shortcuts in that," he remarked. "But I do believe that the president needs somebody that he has confidence in to get this job done and somebody that he's got a good rapport with."
You can watch the video below via CNN: