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VA Secretary David Shulkin regrets misusing taxpayer funds for European trip, reimburses government

VA Secretary David Shulkin regrets misusing taxpayer funds for European trip, reimburses government

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Wednesday he regrets decisions he and others made that led to the department's inspector general finding Shulkin and his wife improperly accepted tickets to Wimbledon and used taxpayer funds to cover his wife’s airfare for the European trip in July.

According to the VA inspector general report released earlier Wednesday, the 11-day trip cost taxpayers more than $122,000 and was subsequently misrepresented to ethics lawyers after Shulkin returned to the U.S.

In addition, the inspector general determined that Shulkin’s chief of staff, Vivieca Wright Simpson, altered an email to ensure the government would pay for Shulkin’s wife airfare of $4,312 to make it appear as if Shulkin was receiving recognition or an award during the visit.

They also said Shulkin claimed he received Wimbledon tickets from a friend, Invictus Games adviser Victoria Gosling, despite only meeting her three times.

The revelations have prompted calls for Shulkin’s resignation, including from Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., a senior Republican on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.

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