Republican Lawmaker Calls for VA Secretary’s Resignation After Report Shows Taxpayer-Funded Trip to Europe

Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin (L) testifies before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee September 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on the topic of "Be There: What more can be done to prevent veteran suicide?" (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

GOP Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado called for the resignation of Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin Wednesday after the VA’s inspector general released the results of an investigation into Shulkin’s taxpayer-funded trip to Europe.

“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,” tweeted Coffman, who sits on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

The tweet follows¬†an inspector general’s report that said the chief of staff for Shulkin¬†altered an email and made false statements to a department ethics official that led to taxpayers covering expenses for Shulkin’s wife on an official trip to Europe last summer.

Vivieca Wright Simpson, Shulkin’s chief of staff, altered language in an email regarding the logistics of the trip that led to the department paying $4,312 in airfare for Shulkin’s wife, Merle Bari, according to the report.

In a response to VA’s Inspector General Michael Missal dated February 12, 2018, Shulkin called the portrayal of the trip “overall and entirely inaccurate.”

“Your staff’s conduct related to this investigation reeks of an agenda,” he said. “Your portrayal of this trip is overall and entirely inaccurate.”