Trump on firing Price for taxpayer-funded private jet use: 'We'll see'
- Author: Ryan Wade Sep 28, 2017,
Sep 28, 2017, 0:27
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price took a government-funded private jet in August to get to St. Simons Island, an exclusive Georgia resort where he and his wife own land, a day and a half before he addressed a group of local doctors at a medical conference that he and his wife have long attended.
At one point, when asked if he would fire Price, the President said, "We'll see".
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. Politico found that since May, Price has taken 26 flights on corporate jets, and in several cases, there were commercial flights available to his destinations.
Tesia D Williams, a spokeswoman for the HHS inspector general, told the BBC the agency is reviewing whether it was "potentially inappropriate travel".
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And Trump says he let Price know it.
Lawmakers are demanding records by October 10. On a June trip to Nashville, Price also had lunch with his son, who lives in that city, according to Politico.
"And I will tell you personally, I'm not happy about it", Trump told pool reporters Wednesday afternoon when asked if he would dismiss the former Georgia congressman.
Trump's publicly expressed displeasure - or ambivalence - has been a sign in the past that the tenure of a key aide will soon be over.
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Federal regulations stipulate that "official travel on the part of federal employees must be "by the most expeditious means of transportation practicable" and 'commensurate with the nature and objective of the [employee's] duties, ' and by no means should include personal use", according to the letter.
"I was looking into it and I will look into it".
Asked if he has confidence in Price, Johnson went to speak, then stopped himself and walked away. I am not happy about it. I'm going to look at it.
Price, an ally of House Speaker Paul Ryan, is a past chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he was known as a frequent critic of wasteful spending. "The review focuses on whether the travel complied with Federal Travel Regulations, but may encompass other issues related to the travel", said Tesia Williams, a spokeswoman.
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