The Trump administration is overrun by corruption. While we are focusing on all of Trump’s corruption, let us not forget that his appointees and cabinet members are just as corrupt. Case in point: Seema Verma, who according to Politico wanted taxpayers to shoulder the cost of items stolen from her SUV.
Seema Verma oversees the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. With no shame whatsoever, Verma asked Health and Human Services to reimburse her $47,000 for “lost property,” consisting of jewelry (including a $5,900 Ivanka Trump pendant), clothing and “other personal items.” Verma was in California for a speech when the theft occurred. So, how many of you out there leave valuables in your car when you go inside of someplace for hours? How much has the news media talked about what can happen when you leave valuables in vehicles?
Is Verma stupid or is she making this up? According to Politico, she initially claimed a $20,000 loss but later, for some reason, more than doubled her claim. In all fairness, it is likely difficult to estimate the cost of items but this far off? More than double? It is hard to fathom such a large miscalculation, especially when the initial police report showed $20,000 and it wasn’t until she was filing her claim with HHS that the amount grew by so much. Sorry, but this smells fishy as hell.
Verma is already under “unusual scrutiny,” as Politico calls it. She was a consultant to Mike Pence in Indiana prior to her appointment, and is in constant conflict with HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Verna is accused of wasting taxpayer money on public relations consultants, some of whom were working on her “personal brand” (whatever the hell that means). When Politico heard about Verma’s claim, they filed a FOIA and obtained necessary, authenticated documents that prove the amount of Verma’s claim to HHS.
Verma’s spokesperson tried to garner sympathy for Verma by stating that she “travels to Washington, DC from Indiana each week at her own expense” and used this as the reason Verma had so much jewelry and other personal items in her vehicle. First, she could move to Washington, DC while she has this position. A novel idea that apparently makes far too much sense. Second, the vehicle from which items were stolen was in San Francisco where Verma was giving a speech not in Washington. What these two have to do with each other is mind-boggling, but only a Trump appointee would try such a ludicrous claim.
Trump went on and on about “draining the swamp” if he was elected. Instead, he has continued to fill it with gators and other swamp creatures who do nothing but sit around thinking of ways to pocket taxpayer money. It is completely ridiculous and despicable. Thank God, the HHS only reimbursed her $2,852.40 according to a CMS spokesperson, as employees are paid for lost goods on a discounted basis. Guess Verma will have to buy some new moisturizer, noise-cancelling headphones and another Ivanka Trump pendant, which was probably a cheap imitation made in China anyway. These people are incredibly unbelievable.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years