Tags: VA | david shulkin | business | pleasure | europe | work trip

Shulkin, Wife Mixed Business With Pleasure During European Trip

Image: Shulkin, Wife Mixed Business With Pleasure During European Trip
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By    |   Friday, 29 September 2017 05:14 PM

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and his wife mixed business and pleasure during a European work trip, catching a Wimbledon match, touring Westminster Abbey and taking a cruise on the Thames, The Washington Post reported.

According to the Post, the pair spent about half their time during a 10-day trip in July sightseeing, shopping and touring historic sites.

Shulkin traveled to Europe to attend a conference in London with representatives of several countries on veterans' health issues, as well as a series of meetings in Denmark.

His traveling party included the acting undersecretary of health and her husband, Shulkin's chief of staff, another aide and a security detail, according to the Post. Everybody flew commercial, and Shulkin was in coach for at least one leg.

Commercial airfare for Shulkin's wife, Merle Bari, was picked up by the government, and taxpayers paid for a per diem for her meals.

The trip came less than two weeks after he signed a memo telling top VA staffers to determine whether "employee travel in their organization is essential," the Post reported.

Sparked by the Post's inquiries, the VA announced Friday that it would start posting details of the secretary's travel online, including itineraries, and disclosing any use of government or private aircraft.

All of Shulkin's activities on the European trip, including his attendance at Wimbledon, "were reviewed and approved by ethics counsel," VA press secretary Curt Cashour told the Post in an emailed statement.

"These were important trips with our allies to discuss best practices for taking care of veterans," Cashour said. "The secretary has been transparent on his down-time activities that were similar to what he would have done with his family over a weekend in the U.S."

The report comes as other Trump administration officials have come under fire for traveling in high style while in office.

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Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and his wife mixed business and pleasure during a European work trip, catching a Wimbledon match, touring Westminster Abbey and taking a cruise on the Thames, The Washington Post reported.
VA, david shulkin, business, pleasure, europe, work trip
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2017-14-29
Friday, 29 September 2017 05:14 PM
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