It’s been a “bruising week for Trump” according to MSNBC’s Ari Melber. Trump just lost Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, enraged by the scandal that Price used private jets for multiple trips at taxpayer expense. Price’s offer to pay back only a fraction of the cost of his over $1 million in travel costs was perhaps the last straw for Trump.
Yet Price isn’t the only one taking private jets, and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin reportedly spend his time on an international trip “sightseeing and shopping with his wife.” Does one bad apple spoil the bunch, or does absolute power corrupt absolutely? Whatever the case may be, the swamp is just getting swampier.
Trump set the precedent, promoting his private businesses in office. After only three months in office he was already being noted as “the president most open and willing to use the prestige of the White House to enrich himself and his family.”
Now on the heels of news of the Price resignation, the VA Secretary Shulkin is found to have made a vacation out of a European conference in July. The conference in London was a chance to discuss veteran’s health issues with representatives of several countries. Shulkin’s wife came along, receiving free airfare and hotel stay from the government as well as a daily allowance for meals. The trip itinerary was approved by the ethics counsel.
VA Secretary David Shulkin went on European vacation. The VA paid for his/wife's air, hotel & food‼️?https://t.co/NIMEmg4XMq
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) September 29, 2017
From The Hill:
The newspaper reports Shulkin attended a Wimbledon tennis tournament match and visited multiple palaces in both London and Denmark. Shulkin also reportedly took a cruise on the River Thames in London during the trip.
The VA made a statement that going forward, Shulkin’s official travel will be made public, to which Shulkin agreed. Perhaps he won’t have to resign, but there are still others to consider.
Citizens for Ethics posted a graphic of other Trump officials taking private jets at taxpayer expense. At least Shulkin reportedly flew on a commercial flight in coach on at least one flight.
Could Trump officials please stop taking private jets on the taxpayer dime for a little bit? We can barely update our graphics fast enough! pic.twitter.com/OoNTRdMkFQ
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) September 29, 2017
Will we ever see that swamp drained with the Trump administration in power? You might have the urge to hold your breath due to that very swampy odor, but we’d still say it’s a bad idea.