Ex-South Korean President Questioned in Corruption Probe
Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was questioned by prosecutors Wednesday in connection to a massive corruption probe, joining a long list of ex-leaders tainted by scandal.
The 76-year-old Lee is suspected of accepting over $10 million in bribes from the National Intelligence Service, as well as Samsung and other businesses and individuals. The ex-president is also alleged to have embezzled as much as $30 million from auto parts company DAS. Lee's brother is the largest shareholder in DAS, but prosecutors believe Lee actually owns the company.
The conservative Lee, who served as president from 2008 to 2013, publicly apologized when he arrived at the Seoul Central District Office for questioning. "I am deeply sorry for causing concern to public," he said, while offering hope that he will be "the last former president" to face a criminal probe.
Lee has maintained his innocence throughout the investigation, calling it "political revenge" by current liberal President Moon Jae-in.
Report: Trump Looking to Replace VA Secretary
U.S. President Donald Trump is considering replacing the embattled Veterans Affairs secretary David Shulkin with Rick Perry, the current energy secretary.
A source familiar with the White House discussions told the Associated Press that Trump has floated the notion of the cabinet reshuffle as a way to right the ship at the VA, believing Shulkin has become a distraction to the department’s work.
Shulkin has faced several investigations over his travel and leadership of the department, but until now has received praise from the president for his work to turn around the department.
Shulkin faces an insurgency from within the agency and new allegations that he had a member of his security detail go shopping with him at Home Depot and then carry the purchases into his house.
An internal report has also found ethics violations in connection with the secretary’s trip to Europe with his wife last summer.
Trump and his senior aides are frustrated with Shulkin because they believe he has undermined the White House on several occasions and is unwilling to work with other members of his agency who were appointed by the Trump administration. Shulkin is the sole holdover from the Obama administration.
Trump raised the idea with Perry during a lunch meeting Monday but did not offer the job to him, a White House official told AP. Trump has been angry with Shulkin, the official said, but is known to float staffing changes without always following through.