Watchdog report faults VA chief over Europe trip costs

David Shulkin
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks during a House Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing on veteran caregiver support, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An internal watchdog’s investigation has found that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin improperly accepted Wimbledon tennis tickets and likely wrongly used taxpayer money to cover his wife’s airfare for an 11-day European trip.

The report also questions Shulkin’s decision to direct agency staff on official time to arrange his personal sightseeing activities during the July trip to England and Denmark.

The inspector general’s audit is the latest in a controversy over misuse of government travel by top Trump administration officials.

Shulkin’s lawyers say he did nothing improper. A department spokesman says Shulkin “travels far less than any recent VA secretary” and takes no private jets.