Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (Colo.) is calling for Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin to resign from his post after a VA inspector general’s report found he misused government resources for a trip he took last summer to Europe.
“It’s exactly corruption and abuses like this that doesn’t help our veterans. @SecShulkin must RESIGN now,” Coffman tweeted.
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
The call for Shulkin to step down comes after the release of a watchdog report that says the VA secretary’s chief of staff doctored an email to get approval for taxpayer funding for Shulkin’s wife’s flights, which cost more than $4,000.
The report also says Shulkin misused government resources by accepting Wimbledon tickets and airfare for his wife as gifts when he took a trip to Europe last summer.
Shulkin said the tickets were from a close personal friend. The inspector general, however, found that he had only met the woman who provided the tickets — Victoria Gosling, an adviser for the Invictus Games — three times at official events.
The report recommended that Shulkin reimburse the VA for his wife’s airfare and reimburse Gosling for the cost of the Wimbledon tickets and “any other tangible benefits.” It also recommends that the VA “audit the expense vouchers, travel authorizations, and the time and attendance records for all travelers and take any appropriate action to correct any errors.”
In a letter to Inspector General Michael Missal, Shulkin wrote that the report “draws conclusions based on subjective and arbitrary criteria.”
Shulkin, who was appointed as a VA undersecretary by former President Obama, is the latest Trump Cabinet official to face scrutiny over his travel expenses. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have all been criticized for expensive taxpayer-funded travel.