President Donald Trump said he is ‘not happy’ with what he has learned about Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s government-funded private jet travel.
‘I was looking into and will look into it, and I will tell you personally, I’m not happy about it, I am not happy about it,’ the president said when asked about Price as the president prepared to take a trip aboard Marine One en route to Indiana.
‘I am not happy about it and I let him know it,’ Trump said.
An inspector general and a House committee are already looking at the conduct, unusual for a secretary with a domestic portfolio and without security responsibilities, and Congress is also getting involved after reports about the former House lawmaker.
In the latest revelation, Price found a way to make his high-flying job family friendly – taking a government-funded private jet to a resort island where he owns property and lunching with his son on another taxpayer-funded jaunt.
Price is already under fire for running up travel costs of more than $400,000 using government-owned corporate-style jets rather than flying commercial as he travels around the country.
Politico revealed that one trip was to the resort area of St. Simons Island in Georgia, where Price and his wife own property.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is having his use of government jets examined by an inspector general as well as by the House Oversight committee
Price arrived nearby the island on a Friday in August for a Medical Association of Georgia retreat. It was about 40 hours before he was to speak, according to the report.
According to the island’s official website, it is ‘home to fabulous beaches, golfing, charter fishing, spas and salons, and a variety of restaurants, fun events, and entertainment for everyone.
‘The unspoiled beauty of St. Simons and its distinctively charming beach lifestyle that is unhurried and under-developed are what make it so special. Come see what the rest of the country is so excited about, and welcome to the best of the Island lifestyle!’
BEATS THE SWAMP: According to the island’s official website, St. Simmons is ‘home to fabulous beaches, golfing, charter fishing, spas and salons, and a variety of restaurants, fun events, and entertainment for everyone’
Price took the costlier private jet travel to the resort where he and his wife own property in August to attend a conference
HE GETS A PLANE, WHY DON’T I? Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One in flight during a trip with US President Donald Trump to Beaver, West Virginia, July 24, 2017
The report said Price and his wife are regular attendees at the event.
Price flew on a Dassault Falcon 2000, a French business jet, when he could have flown commercial with time to spare.
In June, Price flew to Nashville, where his son lives and where he owns a condo. An HHS official told the publication he and his son had lunch.
Both events were considered official, although Price’s schedule was light.
In Nashville, he toured a Dispensary of Hope pharmaceutical dispensary and gae a 20 minute speech at a state health summit. The event was organized by a Republican donor, orthopedic surgeon Manny Sethi.
Price is under fire for using government jets when he could have flown commercial
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price speaks during a HHS listening session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Price has taken government jets 24 times since May, Politico reported
He cut a video for the Trump White House where he is described as one of the ‘victims of Obamacare.’ In the video, he speaks to the camera with piano music in the background, bemoaning how the law requires doctors ‘to sign so many documents, and enter so many things, and do so much paperwork that it really takes time away from those meaningful moments with your patients.
The GOP-led House Oversight committee has begun an investigation of private jet use by cabinet officials.
Politico reported that Price took 24 charter jets since May, running up costs of more than $300,000.