Medicare chief Seema Verma allegedly retained a lawyer to discuss a claim that President Donald Trump’s first Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price, was creating a hostile work environment, according to an internal 2017 memo prepared by a HHS appointee.
A spokesperson for Verma denied that she hired a lawyer.
Verma’s alleged accusations about Price were outlined in an August 2017 memo based on an exit interview conducted with Brian Colas, who briefly served as Verma’s chief of staff that year.
“Mr. Colas said the administrator has ‘hostility and anger toward Secretary Price,’” stated the memo, which was obtained by POLITICO and details instances in which Verma was antagonistic toward Price and members of his staff.
The interview with Colas was conducted by Heather Flick, who at the time was an official in HHS’ Office of the General Counsel, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.