The 11-day trip to Copenhagen and London cost taxpayers at least $122,334, the report said. It also alleged that Shulkin’s Chief of Staff altered a document and misrepresented information to ethics officials that ultimately caused his wife’s airfare to be covered by the government.
Shulkin, his wife Dr. Merle Bari, senior VA leaders, and a six-member security detail flew a commercial airline to Copenhagen in July 2017 to attend a day-and-a-half of meetings with Danish government and health care officials to discuss veterans issues, but also included a day of tourist stops.
The delegation then flew commercially to London to attend a veterans conference, but over half of the secretary’s six days there were spent sightseeing and attending the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
The IG report said that, in the process, a VA employee’s time was “misused as a personal travel concierge to plan tourist activities exceeding that necessary for security arrangements.”
The VA secretary’s lawyers told ABC News that he “has not done anything improper.”