Office Of VA Secretary Accused Of Doctoring Email And Lying So Public Paid For His Wife’s 10-Day Europe Trip

The Washington Post reports:

Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin’s chief of staff doctored an email and made false statements to create a pretext for taxpayers to cover expenses for the secretary’s wife on a 10-day trip to Europe last summer, the agency’s inspector general has found.

Vivieca Wright Simpson, VA’s third-most senior official, altered language in an email from an aide coordinating the trip to make it appear that Shulkin was receiving an award from the Danish government — then used the award to justify paying for his wife’s travel, Inspector General Michael J. Missal said in a report released Wednesday. VA paid more than $4,300 for her airfare.

The account of how the government paid travel expenses for the secretary’s wife is one finding in an unsparing investigation that concluded that Shulkin and his staff misled agency ethics officials and the public about key details of the trip. Shulkin also improperly accepted a gift of tickets to a Wimbledon tennis match worth thousands of dollars, the investigation found, and directed an aide coordinating the trip to act as what the report called a “personal travel concierge” to him and his wife.

  • CharlestonDave

    The best people!

    • Frostbite

      Drain the swamp!

  • bkmn
    • coram nobis

      So they didn’t report it, and falsified stuff as well.

      • bkmn
        • coram nobis

          Any repercussions out of this, or are the parties simply going to get Medals of Freedom for malfeasance beyond the call of official duty?

          • Gustav2

            It was Wimbledon, surely you mean a VC.

          • orion dumptee

            no was an NVA ‘regular’ ha ha

          • bkmn

            Story just broke this morning. Maybe Tres Gaudy will investigate this too before he leaves.

          • David Walker

            Boy Gowdy investigate something provable? How do you say?…Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            Great nickname.

      • Gustav2

        My take away is major donors to the Republican Party think our government is this corrupt.

    • Cuberly Deux
      • Joe in PA

        She should be imprisoned just for using the hashtag:

        #tomford sunnies FFS these people. Arrrgh.

        • Nic Peterson

          I would have loved it if Tom or any of the other brands had responded by saying something like: ‘Quit wearing our brand, you miserable, low rent, gold digging whore.’

          • Joe in PA

            Using just those words!

        • Cuberly Deux

          I still say that image, along with this one, are the perfect distillation of the Trump administration.

          • JWC

            the Marie Antoinette look on Madame Mnuchins face says it all

          • Cuberly Deux

            Yep, she was recently interviewed in Elle…..heh….the fashion mag. When asked about her fuckups Linton sort of shrugged, maybe it wasn’t a good idea…but it was cold in there so I needed to wear my $600 black leather gloves.

          • Hank

            Funny, when I go to the movies, here in FTL, and the AC is cranked up, I just put my “hoody” on!!!

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            Not a good idea for the spouse of the Treasury Secretary to be giving an interview to Elle. Sad !

          • Cuberly Deux

            Yeah, not the place to make your “apology” for being stone-tone-deaf.

          • lymis

            “perfect distillation of the Trump administration”

            They can’t even cast competent supervillains. Sad!

          • Prost Seattle

            The guy in the background has a thought bubble: ‘Are these people for real?’

          • Steverino

            Those notes look like they have been freshly laundered.

          • Hank

            I can almost see the Rubles on the backside!

          • Joe in PA


    • Nic Peterson

      We deserve better misfeasance than this. The GOP has standards, ya know.

    • The_Wretched

      He’s corrupt, a liar, and a hypocrit. He certainly fits the mold of a Trump supporter.

    • ChrisMorley

      The annual salary of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is $199,700.

  • jayjonson

    The most corrupt administration in history, from the top down.

    • Robincho

      Dumpy makes Warren Harding look like a part-time amateur…

      • David L. Caster

        Even Reagan couldn’t hold a candle to the present lot.

        • LesbianTippingHabits

          That’s saying quite a lot.

  • Lars Littlefield

    And of course, he is a Trump appointee.

    • LesbianTippingHabits

      President Obama initially appointed now-VA Secretary Shulkin to a senior position at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

      His successor moved him up to Secretary. Thank you.

  • BearEyes

    dock his pay for full reimbursement.
    then fire him

    • Joe in PA

      Lock him up!

  • justmeeeee

    Only the best for our guvmint!

  • thatotherjean

    Oh, good Lord. Is there anybody in this administration who isn’t a crook? Lock ’em all up!

    • Mikey

      They should lock up his spouse as WELL.
      Maybe if the significant others of these crooked politicians got caught in the same nets it would shake things up a bit.

    • Charlie 2001

      The millionaires and billionaires Trump has appointed to office feel deeply entitled. They expect to be able to fly first class and on government jets. They expect to have their offices redecorated in a lavish manner. And then they want to cut food programs and medicaid from the poor. They get this way because they are so used to corporate welfare.

      • thatotherjean

        That’s quite likely true. Only goes to show why the government should be run by professional bureaucrats (my dad was one), who know what the rules are and how things work, not these entitled nitwits. And maybe we, as consumers, need to take another look or two at how corporations are run.

      • HanyBaal

        That’s exactly it. Remember how 45 thought appointees who are rich would be better since they’re are not so needy?? Well, they are needy, also whiny and entitled.

      • northern_neighbour

        Corporate Welfare Bums.

        Time to start erecting the scaffolds again, with that French “correctional” tool that can guillotine them out of their wretched
        sense of deprivation.

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        Say what you want re Education Secretary Betsy De Vos, but at least she pays for her own private jet for official travel. If she is reimbursed anything, it’s just the standard government coach fare.

        That’s the right way to proceed. Thank you.

  • bkmn

    This will distract the press from the Porter matter.

    • ColdCountry

      What have I missed now?

      • William

        He heard a who.

    • lymis

      Maybe not so much as it might have. They’re a bit less fawning now.

      Still going after the shiny objects, though.

  • CanuckDon

    What’s the matter with these people in the Trump administration? They too poor to pay for things themselves?

    • lymis

      Apparently, it hasn’t sunk in that the media is watching them. They’re used to being either invisible in their corporate settings, or having the public treat their financial misdeeds as rascally eccentricities rather than actual public fraud.

  • Mikey

    I don’t understand.
    Don’t these people have salaries in the high 6 digits?
    They seriously can’t afford a $4000 plane fare?
    Wouldn’t she have enjoyed her trip considerably more had she been honest and paid for it herself? Doesn’t knowing that you’re scamming the public to pay for that trip make the trip somehow… less enjoyable?

    These people are seriously psychopathic.

    • CanuckDon

      They need to be shamed for not having enough money. That’s the way to attack Republicans and the wealthy. Embarrass them. Tarnish their image.

    • The_Wretched

      They expect privilege and perks. That they have the assets to afford it is beside the point.

    • TexasBoy

      Of course they can afford it. But they always expect more. You’d be shocked at how much free stuff rich people get just because they are already rich.

    • American Patriot

      Republicans are fucking thieves. You know that. Right?

    • Cuberly Deux

      These are people that are convinced that their presence is an asset wherever they go. And that presence is to be handsomely rewarded.

      It’s a particularly toxic form of entitlement.

    • Tread

      Why pay for it themselves when they can just have us pay for it? Those marching orders come straight from the top. I seriously hope several blue state attorney generals are preparing to file a joint lawsuit against the federal government to recoup costs for all of Trump’s golf trips as well as the rest of these fucking grifters, should he be indicted by Mueller.

    • m_lp_ql_m

      The fact that they have 6-figure salaries means they’ve been stealing from the public from the get-go. What’s a measly European vacation on top of that?

      Politicians should be paid minimum wage.

      • David L. Caster

        Exactly. The federal minimum wage.

    • JP

      David J. Shulkin’s estimated net worth for 2016 is $17,154,100.

      • MBear

        He didn’t get to that place spending his own $$$

        • JP

          God damn we need a revolution in this country to wake the fuck up.

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            Vote Against Incumbents.

            Incumbent candidates or the incumbent party.

          • JR

            We’d just have new incumbents. What a ridiculous idea.

          • Kissmagrits

            Not necessarily.
            If we kept voting out incumbents, granted, we’d have some serious snafus along the way, but a string of talented amateurs might do us some good in the long run. After all, Trump has installed a shitload of amateurs this last 13 months and they’re mostly thieves and traitors.

      • RyanInIllinois

        I think CCR said it best in Fortunate Son: “Some folks are born silver spoon in hand. Lord, don’t they help themselves.”

    • David Walker

      Psychopathetic. That they could afford any of this is way beside the point. They are republicans, white, privileged beyond compare, and feel they are absolutely entitled to anything the taxpayers might pay for, especially if the taxpayers 1) don’t know about it and 2) comprise the base, which wishes they could live such spectacular lives. I was friends of two incredibly rich families when i was a kid. Rich by my standards, rich by national standards, too. I cannot imagine anyone in either family trying to pull shit like this. OK, one of the girls was a snot, but I suspect even she would have limits on what was permissible. Of course, both families were old money, as opposed to the white trash on the cabinet.

      • orion dumptee

        David? you FORGOT #3… also the base thats PROUD of their ‘great big’ 3rd Grade edu )

    • Steverino

      They cheat at elections, may as well cheat at everything.

      • David L. Caster

        “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

        • Robincho

          Did Emerson have an opinion about knob gobblin’?…

          • The_Wretched

            He was into it.

    • Buford

      The kicker? He’s robbing the VA… of all the govt agencies loot, the VA should be the last one a patriotic American would wanna mess with.

    • ChrisMorley

      The annual salary of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is $199,700.

    • orion dumptee

      did she go to ( 1/2 baked) hamms “ark park”..and then to the creation museum? p.s. ,,,(shhhhsh.. its actually known as the ‘CRETIN’ museum).Wonderful state..where current gov advocates roving bands of ‘prayer warriors” to PRAY away the crime (as in Louisville) street by street….b’cause ‘prayer works’..and then theres’ k davis (sigh)

    • WitchWay

      They think it is due them. I refused to play that game when I worked in the Federal government. There were a few times where I would not submit a Voucher that was not correct, that didn’t have prior approval from the higher levels when required. Any travel done that goes out of Country needs to be approved at the highest level – if said person wants to take their spouse? That trip must be paid for by the individual, not the Federal Employee.

  • Richard

    More swamp rats….. He should be FIRED ! Crime incorporated ever since 62,979,879 “nitwits” voted for the

  • The_Wretched

    Time to see if he has a Cone of Silence too like Tom Price.

  • JWC

    Oh nasty nasty caught with hands in the cookie jar Blame Obama blame somebody

    • OdieDenCO

      well if Obama wouldn’t have put all those yummy cookies back in the jar after the previous administration ate them all, we wouldn’t be in this mess…
      /s icymi

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        And President Obama did appoint now-Secretary Shulkin to a senior position at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    The corruption of this administration knows no bounds. The GOP don’t give a fuck and nobody will be fired, prosecuted, or impeached.

    This is fucking insanity!

    • LesbianTippingHabits

      Well, no disagreement, but it’s also:

      Bernie or bust.

      Colin Kaepernick Did Not Vote. [yes, not the first time here]

      At least progressives seem to have gotten the message:

      Your Vote is Your Voice!

      Thank you.

  • William

    Is “personal travel concierge” the new administration title for “luggage lifter”?

  • j.martindale

    The VA is penurious in its handling of veterans’ benefits. We helped a dying neighbor wend his way through the system. He almost surely was a victim of Agent Orange. His widow is now living near poverty in a home being provided by another sympathetic veteran. Trying to get help for the man in his dying days was a challenge for all of us. And the constant refrain was, the VA was not sufficiently funded to be able to help. The fact that a person in a position of responsibility for this important agency would act in such a selfish and corrupt way is enough to make you weep. This administration isn’t about draining a swamp, it is about filling the Augean stables.

    But, oh hell can they find money for new missiles, ships, guns and planes!!!!!

    • American Patriot

      A close friend of mine works in the VA benefits office here in D.C. He told me there’s plenty of money and staff. But, most of the staff are remarkably lazy or incompetent. So, he spends countless hours accruing overtime to process claims that others just ignore.

      • Steverino

        It was a struggle for us as well to get hubby awarded the full VA benefits for which he was eligible. I would bet the vast majority of homeless vets would almost certainly qualify for benefits, even full benefits, but they lack advocates to work the system and persist for them.

        • American Patriot

          That’s awful. Poor guy.

    • northern_neighbour

      ‘Augmenting’ the Augean stables. Gotta love that reference!!

      Hey that’s a lotta SHIT, also know as SMACK, or more properly Smackers … as in mucho Moola!

      Formerly a ‘Herculean’ task, with the efficiencies of the new administration, America can readily be Made Great Again (puts on $49.95 red hat), with undreamed of plunder for the plundering class! Let’s hear it for CRONY CAPITALISM a.k.a. the KLEPTOCRACY beats the House yet again! Let’s all move on … nothing to see here!

  • American Patriot

    “Here’s your tax-payers free ticket, I mean, award. Wink wink.”

  • Do Something Nice
  • Jerry Kott

    This is how grifters work. It isn’t wrong unless you get caught.

    • Nowhereman

      And then when you’re caught, it’s somebody else’s fault.

      • The_Wretched

        Deep State set up Shulken. They are coming for all of Donny’s top advisors and dept. heads because they hate freedom and want Donny to fail.

      • Jerry Kott

        and if that doesn’t work, blame Obama. and if that doesn’t work, blame Satan………………………….

        • David Walker

          You forgot Hillary. Bad, bad Jerry.

          • Jerry Kott

            my bad, also forgot, LGBT folks. we always fit in there somewhere

          • Steverino

            Oh, we are only responsible for natural disasters and the high divorce rate among heterosexuals. If it weren’t for the obvious greed factor in the fossil fuel industries, they would accept the science of human-made climate change and blame that on us, as well.

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            And she didn’t leave a tip!

  • Renfield

    “that Shulkin was receiving an award from the Danish government”

    haha. An award? For what? Playing toilet paper for the orange dingleberry?

  • Nowhereman

    Gee, it’s so nice to see accountability restored in our government….. (snark)

  • Bambino

    I suppose the excuse of needing a personal photographer does not work this time around.

    • Mr. Ric

      Not just light in the loafers, he’s light in the crampons.

  • Proud MOFO Beaner (bkb)

    Venality and avarice

  • Boreal

    The best people, draining the swamp.

    • PickyPecker

      #MAGA! #WINNING!

  • misterjack

    So sick of this shit.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    Check out the seal in the lower right-hand corner of the article pic.

  • Cuberly Deux

    Pruitt is also getting a lot of scrutiny. BTW-why the hell does the head of the EPA need to meet at the Vatican?

    “On Tuesday evening, CBS News revealed another costly flight: $7,000 round-trip to Milan on Emirates, “whose business class cabins are some of the world’s most luxurious… The entire trip cost more than $43,000 dollars, according to travel vouchers obtained by the Environmental Integrity Project.”

    • The_Wretched

      Congress has an oversight office and each federal agency has internal waste fraud and abuse offices. Well, they did. Maybe Donny has closed them all down?

      • David Walker

        Oversight = overlooks.

      • EdA

        He has been working hard to get terms for inspectors general shortened and also to bring them under the control of top officials of the agencies they’re supposed to oversee.

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        Trump is either appointing incompetents [Bush 43 did the same, e.g., Joseph Schmitz as Inspector General of the Department of Defense; his sister is Mary Kay Letourneau] or just leaving posts empty.

        Sad !

    • William

      Maybe the Oklahoma oil man had some other business to conduct during that Emirates flight.

    • Friday’s_cat

      His sins are that heinous only the Pope can absolve them?

  • Boreal
  • pgarayt

    The never ending stream of douche bag hypocrite republicans.
    Says a lot about their base.

  • Stubenville

    Apparently business or first class can be justified for “security reasons”, according to the morning news. Yea, that translucent curtain between sections of the plane is really gonna provide a lot of security.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Ah, more of that republican fiscal responsibility I’ve been hearing about.

  • ChrisInKansas

    The best people.

  • Moebym of the Returners

    But it was a scandal each time the Obamas took a vacation ON THEIR OWN DIME.

  • Hank

    They are going to be discussing THIS on MSNBC, next!!!

  • shellback

    Mr. Mueller, We’re waiting. The time has come. Do you get my drift?

  • Rich

    Only the “best people”…

  • These trumpledites are shameless and brazen. Who the fnck do they think they are?!

    • EdA

      Republiscum. THAT’s who the frick they think they are. After all, if Treasury Secretary Munchkin thinks that the taxpayer should pay for his honeymoon in Europe, rather than himself tapping into the $100 million offshore account that he “forgot” he had, what’s a few thousand dollars between friends and fellow Republiscum grifters.

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        President Obama originally appointed Secretary Shulkin to a senior position at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • JAKvirginia

    Well, shit, somebody’s got to say it:


    • EdA

      Benghazi to you//////!

  • netxtown

    the last thing I (or any vet) needs is some dirty sonofabitch fucking over the VA for anything. I get it that $4000 isn’t a whole lot – but every dime counts when there are so many who need medical services.

    get out you self righteous asshole – and take you’re nasty ol lady with ya.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      “Can I keep my fake Danish award?”

  • BobSF_94117

    directed an aide coordinating the trip to act as what the report called a “personal travel concierge”

    A new term for luggage lifter?

  • Professor Barnhardt
    • The_Wretched

      that’s a lot of overnight parking.

    • This. is. bad. Like Criminally bad. People are going to be fired for this.. Cashing on Parking vouchers looked upon as gaming the system..

  • ‘Til Tuesday

    Well, what do we expect with the First Family of Grifters sitting in the White House? They’re ripping off the American people for every dime they can get and enriching themselves and their companies at taxpayer expense. The Insane Clown Pu$$y Grabber is setting the example for everyone else in his administration: rip off the taxpayers for all you can.

  • Stogiebear

    Dear Governmenters, here’s how this personal travel shit works: If you can’t afford to write a check or put it on your credit card, you stay the hell home. Period!

    I don’t pay taxes so your squeeze can play tourist on my dollar. Period!

  • teeveedub

    Anyone still remember the good old days when every news outlet wasn’t just a steady stream of White House/tRump Administration scandals? Ah, we were so young, so innocent then.

    • Gianni

      Sure do. I remember in the ’60’s how every day’s front page of my hometown paper was about the Vietnam War. Presidential goings-on were buried somewhere.

    • Bride of Trump

      I feel so dirty.

  • Resignation, resignation, resignation!

    • Prosecution, prosecution, prosecution!

      • Ann Kah

        Hanging, hanging, hanging …oh, ‘scuse me, I was daydreaming.

  • justmeeeee

    These guys are all flaming assholes. It’s like, could the dude not afford to pay for his wife’s trip? Jeezy peezy!

  • boatboy_srq

    It occurs to me that this is an artifact of three decades of “Those People® get away with it”. The presumption – particularly among the recently-powerful wingnuts – seems to be grab-what-you-can because they’re convinced Those Other People®, right up to That Blah President, do the same. The idea of public service doesn’t occur to them, and fiscal responsibility has been a cudgel with which to beat The Poors® and The Others® for so long it’s lost any other meaning for them.

  • JCF

    Swamp the Drain!

  • “Shulkin also improperly accepted a gift of tickets to a Wimbledon tennis match worth thousands of dollars”..

    In California, we call this a bribe…

  • “Shulkin also improperly accepted a gift of tickets to a Wimbledon tennis match worth thousands of dollars,”

    If he didn’t or doesn’t report this on his income taxes returns, (the gift=income) it is income tax evasion. Full. Stop. It is a bribe. The IRS has rightly hammered down on Hollywood for the “Gift Bags” that worth tens of thousand of dollars, This isn’t a gift. It is income. He is also violating Federal Law for accepting this income/bribe, whatever you want to label it as a high government employee, who signed lots of paperwork that he can’t accept these type of bribes.. It is hardly a gift.. (or they say in corrupt parts of Africa “un cadeau”)

  • This is what happens when the 1% are running the government.

  • LesbianTippingHabits

    This is very, very bad – and Sad !

    President Obama originally appointed Shulkin to a senior position at the VA; his successor nominated him as VA Secretary.

    Let’s be honest: There was no reason whatsoever for the VA Secretary to be visiting Europe, especially Denmark and England, on official business.

    None whatsoever.

    The VA only has overseas operations in the Philippines. Nowhere else.

    If Denmark wants to talk to the U.S. on veterans issues, they can come to Washington and visit the VA Secretary, and other VA officials, in their offices.

    This is, like, basic stuff.

    A serious problem with an inexperienced Administration – and, in this case, Secretary Shulkin and the Chief of Staff certainly should have known better.

    Very Sad !

    • Bj Lincoln

      Maybe he figured if the whole administration and constitution was null and void he could get away with what ever. Drumpf sure does.

  • Keroleen

    And yet Omarosa got physically removed from the WH for misusing the Official car pool? Not that I’ve a great deal of sympathy for her, but compared to the other travel scandals of this administration, those’re pretty small potatoes to warrant being treated like that. Money says nothing remotely that hands-on will happen to any of these other guys. So let’s hear another round of protestations from them on how non-racist/sexist they are.