Tom Price resigns after wasting taxpayer money on private planes


Tom Price

New York Mag

Another day, another Donald Trump cabinet official bites the dust.

Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned from his post amid growing scrutiny over his use of private jets and the taxpayer price tag that came along with it.

That price tag? Over a $1 million dollars in which Price was willing to re-pay a fraction of to the tune of $52,000.

Despite his own frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago which too are fronted by taxpayer money, Donald Trump wasn’t pleased with Price’s nonchalant usage of private and military planes for travel. Earlier Friday Trump once again voiced his displeasure on the travel bill Price rung off during his time at HHS while make the reassurance the Secretary was a “good man” and that he would make a decision on his fate later in the day.

Meanwhile, Dan Diamond and Rachana Pradhan of Politico who first broke the story of Price’s travel expenses broke down the Secretary’s frequent taxpayer-funded travel schedule.

The secretary’s five flights, which were scheduled between Sept. 13 and Sept. 15, took him to a resort in Maine where he participated in a Q&A discussion with a health care industry CEO, and to community health centers in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, according to internal HHS documents…

Price’s spokespeople declined to comment on why he considered commercial travel to be unfeasible. On one leg of the trip — a sprint from Dulles International Airport to Philadelphia International Airport, a distance of 135 miles — there was a commercial flight that departed at roughly the same time: Price’s charter left Dulles at 8:27 a.m., and a United Airlines flight departed for Philadelphia at 8:22 a.m., according to airport records.

Price however isn’t the only member of the Trump administration to come under heavy criticism for the use of private and military planes. Currently the Treasury Department’s inspector general is looking into Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s usage of private and military planes including taking a trip to Fort Knox with his wife to watch last month’s eclipse. Interior secretary Ryan Zinke has also been suspected of a heavy usage of private planes while EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is believed to have spent over $58 thousand on air travel.

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