Donald Trump’s pick to head the Veteran’s Administration (VA), David Shulkin, doesn’t just look like a dick, he is one. Veterans all over the US are steaming after learning that Shulkin’s Chief of Staff doctored travel paperwork to pay for his wife, Merle Bari’s, trip to Europe, and a lot more.
Shulkin was busted by the VA’s Inspector General, The Hill reports, and while he did attend to official business, “about half of the trip was spent sightseeing and Shulkin had told an aide to plan personal activities for him and his wife, investigators found.”
Non Veteran Heads the VA
This clown never spent a single day in the military, yet he was Trump’s choice to head the VA. These unethical bastards have plenty in common, after all Trump is a noted Vietnam War draft dodger. However, placing a civilian with no military background in the VA’s top seat is insulting to those of us who did serve. A medical doctor, Shulkin previously served as Undersecretary for Health for the Department of Veterans Affairs
As Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, a US Marine combat vet, calls for Shulkin’s resignation, you have to ask yourself, does Trump have anyone in his world who isn’t contaminated with greed and ethical corruption? I think not, it goes with the territory.
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
Busted From Within
The VA’s report calling Shulkin onto the carpet, was issued by Michael J. Missal, Inspector General of the VA, and it is scathing. The ethical violations came to the attention of the VA’s Inspector General after an anonymous complaint was lodged.
The VA launched an investigation and they turned up tons of dirt on Shulkin. It all centers around an 11-day trip to Europe, according to the report, “The VA delegation had a day-and-a-half of meetings with Danish veterans’ healthcare officials and experts in Copenhagen and attended the Ministerial Summit on Veterans’ Affairs in London.” It also involves the acceptance of tickets to Wimbledon.
Shulkin was cited for his Chief of Staff, Viveca Wright Simpson’s, “alteration of a document and misrepresentations to ethics officials caused Secretary Shulkin’s wife to be approved as an ‘invitational traveler.’” That approval authorized the VA to cover the cost of her airfare, around $4,000. Merle Bari is a dermatologist, I thought they made killer money, but lest we forget that those with the most always expect to pay the least.
He also was called out for improperly accepting Wimbledon tickets and “related hospitality.” (His daughter, Jennie, won a gold medal in squash at the 2009 Maccabiah Games.)
The VA says Shulkin misused a VA employee’s time, working as a “personal travel concierge to plan tourist activities exceeding that necessary for security arrangement.”
Finally, Missal’s report outlines how Shulkin’s travel documentation was too vague for the full costs of the trip to even be determined.
With people like this running the United States, a place where veterans suffer and are vastly undertreated, it is not surprising that things for vets are worse today than ever. With any luck, David Shulkin, the first non-veteran to head the VA… will be the last.