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Tom Price's travel combined personal and professional interests
28 September 2017, 12:26 | Colleen Roy
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price's use of private jets is being investigated
President Trump on Wednesday said he was "not happy" about Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's repeated use of taxpayer-funded expensive charter flights, and did not rule out firing the Cabinet member.
"I will tell you, personally, I'm not happy about it", Trump told reporters Wednesday outside the White House as he prepared to depart for a trip to Indiana. Trump said he'd let Price know of his disappointment. Asked by a reporter if he could fire Price, Trump replied "we'll see".
Officials said Price is cooperating fully with the inspector general's probe and will stop using charter flights until that investigation is complete.
"I have no idea who came up with this notion and where it came from, and the notion you could spend $400,000 in what, five months, is stunning", Sebelius said.
The House Oversight and Government Reform committee is launching a wide-ranging examination of air travel by high-ranking Trump officials following reports about Price's trips.
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 goal of the [employee's] duties, ' and by no means should include personal use", according to the letter.
Price also traveled in June via chartered jet to Nashville, where he "spoke to a local health summit organized by a longtime friend" and had lunch with his son, Politicoreported, citing an unnamed HHS official. I'm going to look at it. Price is a former GOP congressman from Georgia.
He has said he will halt private plane travel on official business while the internal review is being conducted.
Democrats also pounced, with former colleagues in the Congress calling for Price's resignation.
Back in August, the president was asked if he still had confidence in Steve Bannon, then a senior strategist.
"This is Secretary Price, getting outside of D.C., making sure he is connected with the real American people", his spokesperson explained. "Not everybody can lease a plane like that and fly around the country".
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