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Trump eyes former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as VA secretary

By
Amy R. Connolly
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., on February 26, 2015. Palin is reportedly being considered by President-elect Donald Trump to head the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., on February 26, 2015. Palin is reportedly being considered by President-elect Donald Trump to head the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- President-elect Donald Trump is considering naming former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, top transition aides said.

Officials told ABC News that Palin recently told Trump's team, "I feel as though the megaphone I have been provided can be used in a productive and positive way to help those desperately in need."

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Palin, in a Facebook post, appeared to confirm the report she was under consideration. Palin, who made an unsuccessful bid for vice president on the 2008 Republican ticket with Arizona Sen. John McCain, has not yet been to Trump Tower in New York City, where Trump is vetting candidates for a variety of posts. But she has long been a Trump supporter and campaigned for him in early 2016.

"We should be grateful we'll soon have a commander-in-chief who will champion our vets and honor the promises our nation made; a pro-private sector individual who surely understands bigger government is NOT the answer; a president who promised to drain the swamp and clean up all government corruption ... all things our vets and active duty troops deserve," she said in a post that included a link to an ABC News story reporting the possible nomination.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs, the largest government agency, has faced numerous scandals in the past years, including a delay in medical care for some 40 veterans who were placed on a phony waiting list and later died. The VA has some 300,000 federal employees and a 2017 budget of $182 billion.

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