The Latest: Shulkin voices support for potential successor

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The Latest: Shulkin voices support for potential successor
FILE - In this March 7, 2018, file photo, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks at a news conference at the Washington Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington. Shulkin is making it clear he was fired from his job amid conflicting claims from the White House. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. (all times local):

8 a.m.

Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin describes his would-be successor as “a very honorable man who wants to do the right thing.”

Trump announced last week that he was choosing his personal physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, to lead the massive Department of Veterans Affairs.

The White House and Shulkin have since waged a public campaign about whether or not Shulkin was fired. He says yes. The White House says no.

Shulkin was asked on CNN whether he was concerned about Jackson’s lack of managerial experience. Shulkin says “I have comfort because I know Dr. Jackson.”

Shulkin says the job of transforming the VA is no doubt challenging, but the key will be surrounding Jackson with a good team because “no one person can do this alone.”

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12:57 a.m.

The White House is hitting back at former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin for claiming that he was fired from his job and that he was only informed about it shortly before President Donald Trump tweeted about his replacement.

The Trump administration says he left his job willingly amid a bruising ethics scandal and mounting rebellion within the agency. The semantics of whether Shulkin resigned or was fired could be relevant to Trump’s ability to name an acting secretary to temporarily fill his place.

On Sunday, chagrined by Shulkin’s public statements blaming his ouster on unfair “political forces” in the Trump administration, the White House circulated a “talking points” memo to some veterans groups in a bid to discredit him.

Shulkin maintains that he never submitted a resignation letter.