Trump 'not happy' with reports of Price travel

Lucy Bush
September 28, 2017

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price traveled by private jet for trips where he combined official business travel with visits to colleagues and family members, Politico reported late Tuesday.

Price's travels were first reported by Politico, which said it has identified 26 charter flights at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, in many cases where cheaper commercial flights were a viable option. Trump said "I'm not happy about it and I let him know it".

When asked if he would fire the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary over the matter, the Republican president said: "We'll see".

The publication also reported that Price has taken more than 24 private flights since early May, costing taxpayers almost $400,000.

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"I was looking into it and I will look into it".

The committee sent a letter to Price asking that he "identify each usage of a private, non-commercial aircraft by a non-career official" by October 10. "I will tell you I am not happy with it".

Price, who once railed against Democrats in Congress using private planes paid for with government funds, took a trip in August to the St. Simons Island resort in Georgia, where he and his wife Betty own land.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, said in an interview Wednesday that while he had not yet had a chance to talk to Price, his practice of taking so many charter planes reflected "poor judgment".

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On Wednesday, reporters asked Trump about Price's travels.

"I'm not going to comment on that because the President hasn't commented publicly", Kellyanne Conway, a senior White House adviser, told reporters.

The HHS inspector general's office began a review last week to determine if Price complied with federal travel regulations, which generally require officials to minimize costs.

Price said Saturday he would stop flying private planes on official business while an internal review of the flights is being done.

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Yet when Price was named to a Cabinet position and the opportunity arose to pamper himself at taxpayer's expense, his sense of personal entitlement was apparently too strong to resist.

Other reports by Info About Network

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