The Secretary of Veterans Affairs misused taxpayer money to fly his wife to Europe last summer and get tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament. That’s just part of a scathing report by the inspector general of the VA which looked into David Shulkin’s travel.
The report found:
Doctored e-mails by Shulkin’s chief of staff that, according to the Washington Post, “make it appear that Shulkin was receiving an award from the Danish government — then used the award to justify paying for his wife’s travel.” Her airfare, paid for by taxpayers, was $4300.
The report also finds that Shulkin improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets worth thousands of dollars.
The total cost of the trip to London and Copenhagen for Shulkin, his wife, staff and security detail was $122,334. In the interest of transparency, The VA has posted Shulkin’s travel itinerary or its website. Shulkin is just the latest Trump cabinet official to come under fire for taxpayer-funded travel.
Tom Price, the former HHS Secretary, resigned last September from his post after taking $400,000 worth of charter jets at taxpayer expense.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been criticized for often flying in first class. Pruitt has cited threats and security concerns. It was last summer when Pruitt traveled to Italy with his staff, at a cost of $90,000, to attend a G7 summit in Bologna.
Then there was Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who has flown on many military jets to the tune of more than $800,000, including one trip from Washington to New York which cost $15,000. The Treasury Department inspector general found Mnuchin broke no laws, but according to the New York Times, the IG “lamented the loose justification provided for such costly flights.”