Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin says he will reimburse the government over the cost of his wife’s travel expenses after a stunning VA inspector general report on that very trip.
To recap, the IG report found that Shulkin and his staff misled ethics officials about details of his and his wife’s trip to Europe.
In fact, his own chief of staff “doctored an email and made false statements to create a pretext for taxpayers to cover expenses for the secretary’s wife.”
Well, Shulkin has now spoken to USA Today, saying, “There was never anything intentional… We act with the highest ethical character. I relied upon my staff to do this, and in retrospect, I wish that I had asked more questions.”
Shulkin denied involvement in what his chief of staff did and said he is reimbursing the government:
Shulkin said he mailed a check Wednesday to reimburse the government for the cost of his wife’s airfare, $4,312, and is moving to reimburse Gosling for the tennis tickets, both recommendations in the inspector general’s report.
“I have respect for the job the IG needs to do,” he said. “I have followed and complied with the recommendations.”
This comes as Republican Congressman Mike Coffman is calling for him to resign over this scandal:
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
[image via screengrab]