It appears that being corrupt is the only requirement to secure a job in the Trump administration. On Friday, the third most senior official at the Department of Veterans Affair was forced to resign after she misled ethics officials to get approval for VA Secretary David Shulkin’s wife to accompany him on taxpayer-funded trip to Europe.
Vivieca Wright Simpson, Shulkin’s chief of staff, altered an email and made false statements so that taxpayers would foot the bill for the secretary’s wife on a luxury, 10-day trip to Europe last summer, The USA Today reported Friday, citing the agency’s inspector general.
That was an attempt to justify paying for Shulkin’s wife’s travel — including $4,300 for her plane tickets — Inspector General Michael Missal wrote in his report.
Shulkin apologized earlier this week for mistakes he and his staff made in planning and taking the trip last July. He reimbursed the government for his wife’s airfare and is seeking to reimburse a British veterans’ advocate for Wimbledon tickets he and his wife accepted improperly.
Shulkin is one of five current and former Trump cabinet members being probed by agency inspectors general over their travel expenses, an issue that forced the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last year, the Washington Post reported.
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), an Army veteran and a retired Marine Corps officer who is on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, called on Shulkin to resign.
“It’s exactly corruption and abuses like this that doesn’t help our veterans,” Coffman tweeted.