Sarah Palin under consideration for VA secretary

(ABC NEWS) -- Sarah Palin is under consideration for secretary of veterans affairs, a close Palin aide and a top Donald Trump transition official tell ABC News.

The Palin aide tells ABC News that in “recent days,” Palin told Trump transition officials: "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.”

The VA is the largest government agency with over 300,000 federal employees and a budget of $182 billion for 2017.

Palin's son-in-law, Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, posted a SarahPAC video to his Facebook page earlier this week that heavily focuses on her work with veterans and her specific connection to the community. Her eldest son, Track, is a veteran who served in Iraq in 2008. The video, which is not new, seems to clearly show her interest in the position, and in the speech, she hits the VA “bureaucracy,” saying it is “killing our vets.”

The speech included Palin’s ideas on reforming the VA including improved health care, using military skills to return to the workforce and securing their benefits. The speech also included a hit at the current president.

"Stop blaming the victim and wake up, Mr. President,” she said. "While Christians bow our heads to pray for you, radical Islamists want to cut off your head. The only thing standing between us and savages, it’s the red white and blue, it's the United States military! And if you love freedom, thank a vet! Thank them. Honor them."

The former GOP vice-presidential nominee has not been to Trump Tower to meet with the president-elect, but she was one of his earliest and most high-profile endorsers. The Palin aide says Palin has had discussions with the transition team, and the top transition official confirms this.

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is also in the running for the position. Brown visited Trump Tower on Nov. 21 and told reporters he had a "great meeting" with the president-elect about the VA secretary position.

"We obviously spoke about my passion and about his passion, which are veterans and veterans' issues," Brown said, also noting that he's worked on veterans' issues since serving in the Massachusetts state legislature. "I think it's the toughest job in the Cabinet is to lead the VA because while it has so many angels working there, it has so many great problems as well.”

Other names that have surfaced for the position include Rep. Jeff Miller and Gen. Keith Kellogg.

The former Alaska governor has also been talked about for energy secretary and secretary of the interior positions. Earlier this month, she posted on Facebook about her “Drill, baby, drill” energy philosophy.

“NOW is the time to shut off the Saudi oil cartel flow valve and develop our own God-given natural resources. The only excuse not to become energy independent is a political excuse,” she wrote.

That same day, she wrote about her family’s connection to native Alaskans, a relationship covered by the interior secretary position. Palin’s husband Todd is part-native Alaskan.

Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign CEO and the president-elect's pick for chief strategist, is close with Palin. In 2011, he made a documentary about her titled “The Undefeated.”

After ABC News reported on Palin being under consideration for the VA secretary position, she posted a message on Facebook, which she then tweeted, writing in part, "We should be grateful we'll soon have a commander-in-chief who will champion our vets and honor the promises our nation made."

 

 


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