The scandal surrounding Trump administration officials using taxpayer money for personal purpose continues to grow by the day. The Washington Post just reported that President Trump’s Veterans Affairs director, David Shulkin, had the American taxpayer pick up the tab for his recent ten-day vacation in Europe.
While Shulkin did meet with British and Danish officials when he arrived in Europe, he spent most of the time vacationing. According to the report, three days into a trip, the VA chief took his wife to a Wimbledon championship tennis match, toured Westminster Abbey and taken a river cruise. He also took his wife on a shopping spread, all covered by taxpayers.
Shulkin’s six-person traveling party included his acting undersecretary of health and her husband, his chief of staff and another aide, the itinerary says. They were accompanied by a security detail of as many as six people.
The agency said Friday that the government paid airfare for Merle Bari, Shulkin’s wife, because she was traveling on “approved invitational orders.” The government also provided a per diem for her meals, the agency said.
To add insult to injury, this trip was taken two weeks after he signed a memo ordering reviews of all business trips by VA officials to determine if it was “essential.”
“I expect this will result in decreased employee travel and generate savings within the Department of Veterans Affairs,” he wrote shortly before he bounding away on his personal Eurotrip.
In contrast, President Obama’s VA chief, Robert McDonald, never took any foreign trips on taxpayer dime.
The news comes after a string of embarrassing revelations that are snowballing the misuse of taxpayer money into a full-blown corruption scandal. Four members of the Trump administration – Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have spent a combined million dollars of taxpayer money in their cushy jaunts around the nation.
Of course, President Donald Trump has set the precedent for all of this outrageous corruption. In just eight months, Trump has spent more in taxpayer money on his personal vacations than President Obama did in eight years.
This blatant abuse of public funds cannot be allowed to go unpunished by the American people. The US Treasury is not a slush fund to pay for the luxurious travel of millionaires but used to serve and better the lives of the American people – for the many, not the few.
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