The Trump administration, already embroiled in controversy over its handling of the domestic violence allegations against senior White House aide Rob Porter, now faces a new scandal: Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and his staff misused taxpayer money and department resources and misled agency ethics officials about a trip to Europe last July, according to an inspector general’s report.
“The 11-day trip included two extensive travel days and three-and-a-half days of official events—with a cost to VA of at least $122,334,” the report says.
It adds that Shulkin’s chief of staff altered an email to make it look like the secretary was receiving an award, and then used that pretense to justify paying for his wife’s travel expenses, including more than $4,300 in airfare.
The IG also says Shulkin improperly accepted tickets to the Ladies’ Final match at Wimbledon during his time overseas.
The trip came less than two weeks after Shulkin issued a memo to all VA staff saying that, before they approved any employee trips, managers had to determine whether the travel was “essential” as part of an effort to save the department money.
Read more about the IG report here.