John Mashburn, a former Trump White House official, is leaving the Energy Department for a senior position at the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to three people familiar with the move.
Mashburn, a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, is stepping down after six months on the job. One of the people said he’s joining the VA in a high-level role advising the head of the department, Robert Wilkie.
Mashburn, a Veteran of conservative policy circles, served as the policy director of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He then worked on Trump’s presidential transition team and subsequently became deputy cabinet secretary when Trump ascended to the White House.
The staff shuffle comes as the VA is recovering from a tumultuous year. Trump fired the former VA secretary, David Shulkin, after he clashed with White House officials over policy issues and faced criticism for allegedly wasting taxpayer money during a trip to Europe.
Mashburn became embroiled in the Russia scandal when The New York Times reported in May that he told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he believed he had received an email in 2016 from George Papadopoulos, telling the Trump campaign that the Russians had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Mashburn did not respond to a request for comment. After this story was published, VA press secretary Curt Cashour confirmed that Mashburn has joined the VA as a senior senior adviser to the secretary.
“John is a policy expert whose deep Capitol Hill, White House and private sector experience will prove invaluable as we work to build on the unprecedented progress at VA under President Trump,” Cashour said, adding that Masburn started Oct. 15.