Sarah Palin Under Consideration for VA Secretary
The former Alaska governor was one of the first people to endorse Donald Trump.
The Palin aide said that Palin recently 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 Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest government agency, with over 300,000 federal employees and a budget of $182 billion for 2017.
Palin's son-in-law and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer posted a SarahPAC video to his Facebook page earlier this week, with excerpts from a speech she gave that heavily focuses on her work with veterans and her connection to the community. Her eldest son, Track Palin, served in Iraq in 2008. The video, which is not new, seems to clearly show her interest in the position, and in he speech she hits the VA "bureaucracy," saying it is "killing our vets."
The speech includes Sarah 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 includes a criticism of Barack Obama.
"Stop blaming the victim and wake up, Mr. President," she says. "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."
Palin, the GOP's 2008 vice presidential nominee, has not been to Trump Tower in New York City to meet with the president-elect, but she was one of his earliest and highest-profile endorsers. The Palin aide said she 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 VA position. He visited Trump Tower on Nov. 21 and told reporters he had a "great meeting" with the president-elect about the post.
"We obviously spoke about my passion and about his passion, which are veterans and veterans' issues," Brown said, noting that he has worked on veterans' issues since serving in the Massachusetts state legislature. "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.
A former Alaska governor, Palin has also been talked about for energy secretary and secretary of the interior. 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.
The same day, she wrote about her family's connection to Native Alaskans — who are significantly affected by Department of the Interior policies. Her husband, Todd Palin, 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 her being under consideration for VA secretary, she posted a message on Facebook that 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."
ABC News’ Ely Brown and Ben Siegel contributed to this report.
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