A Trump loyalist and “rising star” in the Department of Veterans Affairs was forced out last week after it became clear he was doing “little to no work” despite being on the payroll, The Washington Post reports. Secretary Robert Wilkie reportedly asked for Peter O’Rourke’s resignation on Friday after he rarely showed up to his office. In an interview with the Post, O’Rourke said he was “available for anything the secretary asked me to do” but said, “there were times I didn’t have a lot to do.” O’Rourke reportedly led the office in charge of handling whistleblower complaints before getting bumped up to the chief of staff position and serving as the VA’s acting secretary for two months. But when Secretary Wilkie arrived, he reportedly attempted to sideline O’Rourke and pushed him into a “senior adviser to the secretary” position with a salary as high as $161,000. White House officials reportedly started getting concerned that O’Rourke was “getting paid but not working,” which went against President Trump’s vision of enforcing greater accountability at the VA. “I’d be more than happy to serve again,” O’Rourke told the newspaper, adding that he “does not hold any grudges” after his dismissal. The White House and the VA have yet to comment on the matter.
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