Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin spent nearly half his time on a recent international trip sightseeing and shopping with his wife, including a tennis match and river cruise, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Shulkin traveled to Europe in July for a 10-day trip where he attended a conference in London with representatives of several countries on veterans’ health issues, as well as a series of meetings in Denmark.
According to the report, Shulkin spent roughly half of his trip sightseeing, watching a high-profile Wimbledon match and taking in other activities. The government paid for his wife’s commercial airfare as well as some of the cost of her meals while abroad.
VA press secretary Curt Cashour told the Post that Shulkin’s entire trip itinerary was “reviewed and approved by ethics counsel.”
“These were important trips with our allies to discuss best practices for taking care of veterans,” Cashour told the Post. “The secretary has been transparent on his downtime activities that were similar to what he would have done with his family over a weekend in the U.S.”
The VA on Friday vowed to begin making public a list of Shulkin’s official travel, including trip itineraries and his use of private and government aircraft.
“Veterans and taxpayers have a right to know about my official travel as Secretary, and posting this information online for all to see will do just that,” Shulkin said in the statement.