Blumenthal Statement on IG Report on VA Secretary's Travel

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the statement below in response to a newly released report by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Inspector General looking into VA Secretary Shulkin’s travel:

“Secretary Shulkin’s Europe vacation at taxpayer’s expense, as described in the Inspector General’s report, seems completely inconsistent with his obligation to put veterans first. He must reimburse the public for any private travel immediately. The Trump Administration has so lowered the bar on conflicts of interest that unethical conduct is taken as the new normal in this Administration. The fish rots from the head. The President’s clear, repeated conflicts of interest create a corrosive culture of unethical permissiveness that infects his entire Administration.”

“Now that the Department of Veterans Affairs IG has referred its findings to the Department of Justice, criminal charges must be considered for any fraud and misstatements made by Secretary Shulkin’s Chief of Staff. There should be absolutely no tolerance for this kind of misconduct. Secretary Shulkin should come before the Veterans Committee to provide an explanation.”