Veterans groups ask Trump to keep VA Secretary Bob McDonald

Veterans groups ask Trump to keep VA Secretary Bob McDonald
President Barack Obama and VA Secretary Bob McDonald walk down the stairs from Air Force One in August. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)

The head of Disabled American Veterans is asking President-elect Donald Trump to stick with Bob McDonald as the secretary of the VA.

McDonald, President Barack Obama’s VA secretary and the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, fits right in with the Cabinet Trump has picked so far — full of successful businessmen and former chief executives.

“As President-elect Trump focuses on choosing who will lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we highly recommend he meet with current VA Secretary Bob McDonald, a businessman like himself, to get an honest perspective of the challenges facing veterans and the opportunities for strengthening VA,” DAV executive director Garry Augustine said in a statement.

Other veterans groups have also publicly supported McDonald in recent days.

McDonald took the job of heading the VA two years ago — after a 2014 wait-times scandal that led to the resignation of former Secretary Eric Shinseki.

During McDonald’s tenure, medical appointments for veterans have grown by more than 4 million and Veterans Health Administration stats show an overall drop in patient wait times, according to the Military Times.

“Too many veterans suffered unacceptable delays in recent years trying to access their earned benefits or health care, and they cannot afford to wait even longer while a new Secretary and leadership team start from square one, only to reach the same conclusions,” Augustine said. “We hope President-elect Trump will meet with Secretary McDonald and give serious consideration to keeping him as VA Secretary in order to complete the work he began.”

Other names rumored to be in the running to head the VA are Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass), former Concerned Veterans of America Chief Executive Officer Pete Hegseth, and former Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin.

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