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VA Secretary David Shulkin Under Fire for Leisurely Business Trip

According to an article by USA Today, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin inappropriately accepted Wimbledon tickets, and traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, London and the U.K. This 10-day European trip cost taxpayers more than $122,000. Back in September of 2017, the VA announced that in an effort to strive for transparency, the VA would publish all of the Secretary’s travels on the government website. His Wimbledon travel details can be found on this link and all other travel details here that highlights his attendance at Wimbledon and a river cruise to Greenwich Pier. 


While Shulkin responds to the allegations and denies taking advantage of taxpayer dollars, stating that the trip was truly for attendence to the Five Eyes Conference, an alliance that has been going on since 1943 that comprises of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the United States. Shulkin did admit that he spent his spare time, nights and weekends doing leisurely activities and enjoying everything that the local area had to offer. He still holds the position that no taxpayer dollars were used for those recreational activities. Shulkin also relayed to the inspector general, Michael J. Missal, that the Wimbledon tickets had been provided to him and his wife by a personal friend, Victoria Gosling. The interview with Gosling revealed they had only met three times, and Gosling could not remember the name of Shulkin's wife, Merle.


“It is outrageous that you would portray my wife and me as attempting to take advantage of the government,” Shulkin wrote to Missal.


Shulkin welcomes the idea of any sort of investigation into his trip, and says that he would comply with the recommendations to reimburse the costs of the airfare and tickets.

** Source: Article by USA Today and Image Still Frame by USA Today