Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin’s chief of staff altered an email to create a pretext for taxpayers to pay for Shulkin’s wife to accompany him on a 10-day trip to Europe last summer, the agency’s inspector general reported Wednesday.
Shulkin also improperly accepted a gift of Wimbledon tickets during the trip, and a VA employee’s time was misused planning tourist activities for Shulkin and his entourage, according to the report by Inspector General Michael Missal.
Vivieca Wright Simpson changed language in an email from an aide coordinating the trip to make it appear that Shulkin was receiving an award from the Danish government, Missal said. The VA ended up paying more than $4,300 for her airfare.
The report comes as Shulkin — the only holdover from the Obama administration in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet — is attempting to overhaul the troubled VA and, in particular, its health care system.
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