Trump Confidant Ruddy Predicts Shulkin Out But Few Other Changes

(Bloomberg) -- A confidant to President Donald Trump said he expects Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to leave his post “very soon” while predicting that Chief of Staff John Kelly and Housing Secretary Ben Carson are safe in their jobs.

Newsmax Media Chief Executive Chris Ruddy told ABC’s “This Week” that Trump, with whom he spoke a day earlier, told him he intends to make “one or two major changes” to his administration “and that’s going to be it.” Ruddy said other White House sources, not Trump himself, signaled that Shulkin will be out, while Trump is “happy” with Carson and Kelly, whose tenures also have faced open speculation in recent weeks.

Ruddy said Trump is “perplexed” by the reports of chaos after a wave of firings and policy shifts and thinks the White House is operating “like a smooth machine.”

Ruddy praised Pentagon Chief Jim Mattis and Trump’s pick to replace ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the CIA director Mike Pompeo, for being “very good in many areas.” Tillerson “just didn’t work” in the job because he didn’t “click” with Trump and “didn’t have the political smarts” to run the State Department, Ruddy said.

“So I think the president’s making like he’s trying to improve the type of people he’s bringing in,” Ruddy said.

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