President Donald Trump did not direct his Cabinet to praise him during their first meeting, according to David Shulkin, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
On Monday, Trump held his first meeting with his full Cabinet. After making introductory remarks, he asked each member to make a statement. They went one-by-one praising the president and expressing their gratitude at being chosen for his Cabinet, according to The New York Times.
"On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people," said White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, according to The Hill.
On Tuesday, Shulkin denied that anyone told him to praise Trump in his opening remarks.
"Absolutely not," he said on CNN.
"The president doesn't script the Cabinet and we're given the ability to say what's on our mind," he said, noting that this was the only time "that group had ever been in the room together. And so, people were not given instructions, but people weren't used to knowing each other."
He continued, "And so what the president does is he actually opens up these meetings to the press that I think is really unusual and so you saw something that frankly no one had a script for."
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