VA watchdog reviewing Shulkin's 10-day trip to Europe

WASHINGTON — The Veterans Affairs Department's watchdog said Tuesday it is reviewing Secretary David Shulkin's 10-day trip to Europe with his wife that mixed business meetings with sightseeing.

Shulkin disclosed last week he traveled to Denmark and England to discuss veterans' health issues. Travel records released by VA show four days of the trip were spent on personal activities, including attending a Wimbledon tennis match and a cruise on the Thames River. The VA said Shulkin traveled on a commercial airline, and that his wife's airfare and meals were paid for by the government as part of "temporary duty" expenses.

A spokesman for VA inspector general Michael Missal described the review as "preliminary."

Shulkin is one of several Cabinet members who have faced questions about travel after Tom Price resigned as health chief.

Curt Cashour, a VA spokesman, said the travel activities had been approved as part of an ethics review.

"The secretary welcomes the IG looking into his travel, and a good place to start would be VA's website where VA posted his full foreign travel itineraries, along with any travel on government or private aircraft," Cashour said.

The site lists Shulkin's travel itineraries but does not detail costs to the government.

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