Recently fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin declined on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday to offer a full endorsement of Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's pick to replace him.
Instead, Shulkin praised Jackson's values.
"The Senate has to make up their own mind," Shulkin said. "And it's important to follow the process, which is to do a proper vetting, and I don't think there should be shortcuts in that. But I do believe that the President needs somebody that he has confidence in to get this job done and somebody that he's got a good rapport with."
Jackson, the White House physician, is facing criticism over his inexperience in managing an institution as large as the VA, which has roughly 370,000 employees.
Pressed by CNN's Jake Tapper on whether he would endorse Jackson, Shulkin again stressed the difficulty of the task at hand for an incoming VA secretary.
"I believe in Dr. Jackson's values," Shulkin said. "I think that's important. I know that he cares a lot about veterans, and I believe that he will work well with the President.
"But this is a big job that has to be thought about carefully."
Trump announced on Wednesday that he was replacing Shulkin with Jackson as his new permanent choice to run the massive department.
In an op-ed published later in the New York Times, Shulkin blasted the "toxic, chaotic, disrespectful and subversive" atmosphere in Washington, which he said made it difficult to do his job.