Energy Secretary Rick Perry is the latest member of President Donald Trump’s administration to have dropped additional tax payer money on upgraded flights in the name of ‘security.’
Perry took a dozen premium-class flights during his first seven months in office, ABC News reported, based on travel logs.
Energy Department records show that coach fares were available for the 12 flights in question but that the department approved the higher rate, adding approximately $51,000 to the cost.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry is the latest member of President Donald Trump’s administration to have dropped extra tax payer money on upgraded flights in the name of ‘security.’
Several members of President Trump’s cabinet have had their travel costs questioned
Dates and destinations were not disclosed for the prime travel, which the Energy Department labelled as official business.
Ernest Moniz, who was energy secretary under President Barack Obama, also flew an upgraded class for as part of “exceptional security circumstances,” spending more than $42,500 during the last three months of 2016.
Federal regulations require public officials to travel with the cheapest option possible except in case of security.
The travel records also revealed Perry’s wife, Anita Perry, flew business class on two official trips that cost the department about $20,000.
Agency spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes told ABC News the department was reimbursed for all of Anita Perry’s travel.
Politico reported last month that Perry was one of the more successful members of Trump’s cabinet for having escaped the kind of scandals that plagued his brethren.
But now Perry joints other Cabinet members in having his travel questioned.
The use of private jets led to the resignation of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last year.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is under heavy scrutiny about first class flights he took, which the EPA says were also for security reasons.
Through much of 2017 Pruitt insisted on flying in First Class airline cabins, with his security chief Nino Perrotta insisting his personal safety required it.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is under heavy scrutiny about first class flights he took
But when the administrator flew home to Oklahoma at his own personal expense, he flew coach on Southwest Airlines, a budget carrier.
The Associated Press reported last month that Pruitt’s preoccupation with his safety came at a steep cost to taxpayers, as his swollen security detail blew through overtime budgets and at times diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes.
Pruitt has faced a steady trickle of revelations involving pricey trips in first-class seats and unusual security spending, including a $43,000 soundproof booth for making private phone calls.
Pruitt is also under fire for substantial raises afforded to two young staffers he brought with him from Oklahoma, where he previously served as a Republican state attorney general.