New Travel Scandal Explodes – GOP Rep Demands Trump VA Boss’s Resignation
Veteran’s Affairs Secretary Under Fire
One recurring issue with the Republican Donald Trump administration has been the misuse of government funds for travel by his officials. Numerous appointees have been bilking taxpayers in one way or another when it comes to travelling around the country and world.
Yet another scandal was discovered this morning as the Washington Post revealed Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin was added to the growing list of culprits. An Inspector General report found Shulkin’s chief of staff had doctored emails in an effort to cover travel expenses for the VA Secretary’s wife.
Vivieca Wright Simpson, VA’s third-most senior official, altered language in an email from an aide coordinating the trip to 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, Inspector General Michael J. Missal said in a report released Wednesday. VA paid more than $4,300 for her airfare…
Shulkin received no award or special recognition on the trip.
Missal wrote that Wright Simpson’s actions may have violated federal criminal statutes and that he referred the matter to the Justice Department. The Justice Department declined to prosecute, he wrote.
WaPo points out this is the fifth current or former member of Trump’s team to be under investigation for travel expenses.
One Republican Congressman that sits on the Veterans Affairs committee called for Shulkin to resign. Mike Coffman took to Twitter and hammered the Secretary for “corruption and abuses” while asking for better accountability.
It's exactly corruption and abuses like this that doesn't help our veterans. @SecShulkin must RESIGN now. @realDonaldTrump ran on accountability, it starts here. VA chief Shulkin, staff misled ethics officials about Eurotrip, report – The Washington Post https://t.co/hJ3slooxQr
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) February 14, 2018
Misuse of funds for travel has dogged the Trump administration. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price became the biggest head taken by these scandals, eventually forced to resign his post last September. POLITCO discovered Price took numerous chartered flights instead of commercial travel at an expense of tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
Even Donald Trump himself has been heaped in scandal when it comes to travel. He has spent roughly one-third of his time as president at one of his own properties.
And after claiming he would cut $1 billion from the cost of new Air Force One aircraft, Pentagon documents uncovered this week revealed that to be false.
It seems when it comes to using taxpayer money for travel, this Republican administration will do what it has to to travel in style. As for the rest of us, their position in clear: let them eat cake! (Or nothing at all…)
Featured image via Olivier Douliery – Pool/Getty Images.
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