CORRUPTION: President Trump WILL FIRE His VA Secretary
One thing President Trump won’t tolerate is people who abuse the taxpayers.
After witnessing politicians abuse the American public for decades, allowing fat cats to get richer, President Trump vowed to end such nonsense. He now gets the chance to prove it.
As USA Today reported,
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said the past two weeks have been a “difficult time” as he grappled with the findings of a VA inspector general’s investigation that concluded he improperly accepted airfare for his wife and Wimbledon tickets during a European trip last year. Shulkin said he learned from the experience and is eager to refocus on fixing the VA.
“I think as I look back upon it, there are lots of lessons that I could learn from this,” Shulkin said in an interview with USA TODAY. “And putting the agency in a position where we’ve had this distraction is something that I take accountability for. And I want to learn from that and move forward, so we can get back on the agenda that we all have to do, and that is to fix VA health care and fix VA services.”
The inspector general’s report released Feb. 14 concluded Shulkin spent nearly half of the 10-day trip to Denmark and London sightseeing, and he wrongly used a VA aide on official time to plan the leisure activities. The report said the tennis tickets came from a British businesswoman he had met only at official events; therefore, he shouldn’t have accepted them. The report said his then-chief of staff doctored an email to ethics officials to secure approval improperly for his wife to join him on the trip at taxpayer expense.
I have no problem with the man wrapping personal things around an official visit. Nor do I have a problem with him taking his wife. But it’s what he did afterward that bothers me.
Before the report’s release, Shulkin called the findings inaccurate and unfair, but afterward, he expressed regret and said he would repay the cost of the airfare and tennis tickets. He suggested after the report’s release that his chief of staff’s email may have been hacked. That chief of staff, Vivieca Wright Simpson, retired amid the fallout Feb. 16.
So Shulkin played “politician” and lied about the report’s findings. Worse yet, he then tried to say he was hacked.
And what of the doctoring of emails to get his approval for his wife?
As the article suggests, Shulkin has done a great job at the VA:
During his tenure, Shulkin has overseen the creation of a 24-hour White House hotline for veteran complaints and an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the VA, both Trump campaign pledges.
He instituted same-day appointments for veterans with urgent medical and mental health care needs at VA medical facilities across the country. He made strides on transparency, posting wait times at each facility and quality measures, such as mortality and infection rates, compared with private sector facilities….oversaw the creation of a health care tracking office designed to detect problems at VA hospitals before they become crises.
Shulkin said his top priorities are modernizing VA records and buildings, decreasing veteran suicides, cutting the backlog of benefit applications and appeals and getting legislation through Congress that would provide veterans more opportunities to get VA-funded care in the private sector when the VA can’t meet their needs.
All good things, but we can’t have bureaucrats who violate the public trust for any reason.
President Trump has no choice but to fire this man.