Transcript for VA secretary isn’t leaving quietly after Trump tweet
Next tonight to the president coming out swinging after firing his V.A. Secretary. That cabinet member, David shulkin, firing back today, hinting at why he thinks he was fired. At the white house, meanwhile, another departure, president trump bidding farewell to hope hicks, who resigned some time back. But tonight, it’s the V.A. Secretary, and his new pick for the president, his doctor to lead the V.A., leading to new questions. ABC’s Mary Bruce at the white house tonight. Reporter: With a handshake and a kiss on the cheek, president trump today bid farewell to the aide who has been with him the longest. Hope hicks. Part of a revolving door of high profile white house departures. A starkly different send off from just 24 hours ago. V.A. Secretary David shulkin kicked out of the cabinet with a tweet. We’ve made a lot of progress with the veterans, but I want to get them choice. And they didn’t give us choice. I made some changes, because I wasn’t happy with the speed with which our veterans were taken care of. I wasn’t happy with it. Reporter: But tonight, shulkin isn’t going quietly. Writing in an op-ed, “The environment in Washington has turned so toxic, chaotic, disrespe disrespectful.” Adding this parting shot, “It should not be this hard to serve your country.” Shulkin says he was pushed out by forces in the department that want to privatize the V.A. Heed a been on thin ice for weeks, accused of wasting taxpayer money on a $122,000 work trip to Europe, where he and his wife spent several days sightseeing. The president’s pick to replace him? His own doctor. Admiral Ronny Jackson, who recently offered this glowing praise after the president’s physical. He might live to be 200 years old. I don’t know. I mean, he has incredible — he has incredible genes. Reporter: But it’s the president’s doctor who would now be in charge of the government’s second largest agency, overseeing care for more than 9 million veterans. With little management experience on this scale, veterans groups are skeptical. In just two weeks, secretary of state Rex tillerson, fired. National security advisor H.R. Mcmaster, out. And now the V.A. Secretary. And the president’s controversial new pick for national security adviser, John Bolton, was at the Pentagon today. Defense secretary James Mattis welcoming him with a blunt joke. I’ve heard that you’re actually the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you. All right, Mary Bruce with us live at the white house tonight. And Mary, Dr. Jackson faces a tough confirmation hearing over on the hill? Reporter: Yeah, and lawmakers have been questioning Jackson’s lack of experience with the V.A. He’s likely to be grilled if he can run this massive federal agency. The V.A. Has a budget of nearly $200 billion. Now, to assume this role, Jackson will need the support of the majority of the senate. David? You’ll be watching on the hill for us. Mary, thank you. President trump was in Ohio today, talking about his inf infrastructure plans, to a group of union builders. But he made one comment that got a lot of attention immediately, a comment about Syria, and pulling out U.S. Troops very soon. Just minutes later, the state department back in Washington was asked about it, even they seemed caught by surprise. Take a look. We’ll be coming out of Syria, like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon. Very soon. We’re coming out. The president just said a few minutes ago that the U.S. Is coming out of Syria very soon. And let other people take care of it. We’re coming out. I can only say that as a general matter, and I have not seen the president’s comments myself, I don’t know the context in which his comments were said, but I can say that, as a general matter, this administration looks to other countries to help out. It was clear the state department didn’t see this coming. Let’s bring in our chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz tonight. So, Martha, is there a change in Syria policy, and when he says let other people take care of it, who is he talking about, Russia? Reporter: We’re not really sure what he’s talking about, David. This caught the Pentagon and the state department completely by surprise. No one there is saying anything publicly about pulling those 2,000 U.S. Troops out. And there’s still a significant ISIS presence there. But what is even more surprising is that Donald Trump is the man who said he would never telegraph to the enemy what he’s doing. Last August, saying America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out. But he seemed to forget those words today, in fact, centcom just issues a statement, saying, centcom strategy in Syria is the defeat of ISIS. It is our intention to continue to focus on the aspects of ISIS that still need to be addressed. So, it doesn’t sound like any new strategy, David. All right, but we’ll stay tuned, as always. Thank you, Martha. Meantime tonight, Russia is striking back, after the U.S. Expelled dozens of Russian diplomats and closed a consulate, following that poisoning in the uk. The Kremlin expeopling 60 American diplomats now, and shutting down the American consulate in St. Petersburg in just 48 hours. More than 20 countries expelled Russia’s diplomats over the poisoning of that former Russian spy and his daughter. Russia is vowing to expel diplomats from all of those countries, as well. We should point out that that daughter is said to be improving tonight.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.