GOP lawmaker calls for Shulkin to resign

GOP lawmaker calls for Shulkin to resign
© Getty

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (Colo.) is calling for Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinPress: Acosta, latest to walk the plank Senior Trump administration official to leave post next week Trump sent policy pitch from Mar-a-Lago member to VA secretary: report MORE to resign from his post after a VA inspector general's report found he misused government resources for a trip he took last summer to Europe.

"It's exactly corruption and abuses like this that doesn't help our veterans. @SecShulkin must RESIGN now," Coffman tweeted.

The call for Shulkin to step down comes after the release of a watchdog report that says the VA secretary's chief of staff doctored an email to get approval for taxpayer funding for Shulkin's wife's flights, which cost more than $4,000.

ADVERTISEMENT

The report also says Shulkin misused government resources by accepting Wimbledon tickets and airfare for his wife as gifts when he took a trip to Europe last summer.

Shulkin said the tickets were from a close personal friend. The inspector general, however, found that he had only met the woman who provided the tickets — Victoria Gosling, an adviser for the Invictus Games — three times at official events.

The report recommended that Shulkin reimburse the VA for his wife's airfare and reimburse Gosling for the cost of the Wimbledon tickets and "any other tangible benefits." It also recommends that the VA "audit the expense vouchers, travel authorizations, and the time and attendance records for all travelers and take any appropriate action to correct any errors."

In a letter to Inspector General Michael Missal, Shulkin wrote that the report "draws conclusions based on subjective and arbitrary criteria."

Shulkin, who was appointed as a VA undersecretary by former President Obama, is the latest Trump Cabinet official to face scrutiny over his travel expenses. Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin: Trump's 'as determined as ever' on China trade fight Sunday shows preview: Trump ratchets up trade war with China The Hill's Morning Report: How will Trump be received at G-7? MORE, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittControversial husband and wife EPA duo to leave Washington Environmentalists renew bid to overturn EPA policy barring scientists from advisory panels Six states sue EPA over pesticide tied to brain damage MORE and Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeBLM issues final plan for reduced Utah monument New policy at Interior's in-house watchdog clamps down on interactions with press Overnight Energy: EPA proposes scrapping limits on coal plant waste | Appointee overseeing federal lands once advocated selling them | EPA lifts Obama-era block on controversial mine MORE have all been criticized for expensive taxpayer-funded travel. 

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceThe global economy has become more likely to fail Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank 'I alone can fix it,' Trump said, but has he? MORE resigned last year amid an uproar over his repeated use of private jets for official business.