Another Trump administration official is in trouble, and his loss could be Marvel Comics’ gain! According to a report from the Washington Post, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin may have intentionally misled ethics officials about a trip to Europe last year with his wife and had minions alter documents to make it seem like taxpayers should pay for the trip. Vivieca Wright Simpson, a high-ranking VA official, reportedly altered an email to give the impression that Shulkin would be receiving a reward from the Dutch government, using that to justify paying more than $4,000 in taxpayer money for his wife’s airfare. Shulkin also apparently unethically accepted Wimbledon tickets as a gift during the trip and used a government employee as a travel concierge. The details of the claims against Shulkin are in a report by the VA’s Inspector General, available to read in full here.
So what does any of this have to do with Marvel Comics? Well, as usual, it’s all about Ike Perlmutter.
Perlmutter, the Chairman of Marvel, is one of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters. Perlmutter and his wife donated millions to Trump during and after the campaign. In 2016, the Perlmutters contributed 1/3 of the total funds collected by the Trump Foundation, Trump’s “charity.” Trump once referred to Perlmutter as “one of the great men of business,” and he’s relied on Ike’s advice during his presidency too. In addition to dining with the president regularly at Mar-a-Lago and flying on Air Force One, Perlmutter been an official advisor on the subject of veterans’ healthcare. Trump famously gave Ike the pen he used to sign a major Veteran’s health care bill.
In a way, buying Marvel Comics is essentially supporting Donald Trump, if you accept that Perlmutter, one of the largest individual shareholders of Disney and Chairman of Marvel, profits significantly from Marvel’s success, and in turn uses some share of those profits to support Trump. Of course, if you dig deep enough in any major capitalist enterprise, you’re unlikely to like where some of your money is going, and surely there are plenty of fine people at Marvel with politics completely opposed to Trump’s who also benefit not only from the company’s success but also from Perlmutter’s association with Trump.
But the point is that Perlmutter is a loyal friend of Trump’s, a financial supporter, held in high esteem by Trump for his business acumen, and is already involved in Veteran’s Affairs as an official advisor. Other Trump supporters who have received cabinet positions include Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon, former CEO of WWE who also contributed millions to Trump, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who used his fortune to help finance Trump’s campaign just as he used it to finance the X-Men movies at Fox, Suicide Squad, and Lego Batman. If Shulkin ends up ousted from his position, who better than Ike Perlmutter to take his place?
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