Trump On Firing Tom Price: 'We'll See'
- Author: Megan Austin Sep 28, 2017,
Sep 28, 2017, 0:30
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has twice used a private jet, paid for with taxpayer funds, to travel to destinations where he owns property, Politico reports. When asked whether he will fire Price, Trump replied, "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.
Government officials, with the exception of those dealing directly with national security matters, are required to take commercial flights for work-related travel.
In addition, cheap commercial flights were readily available to all of those locations, but were apparently deemed beneath the secretary's dignity.
Separately, the Health and Human Services inspector general's office is also looking into some two dozen trips reportedly taken by Price. "I let him know it".
Gowdy and Cummings - the top two members of the House Oversight Committee - asked for documents and information on such flights by October 10.
"I was looking into it and I will look into it and I will tell you personally, I'm not happy about it", Trump told reporters Wednesday at the White House before embarking on a trip to IN to discuss tax reform.
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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. And I will tell you personally, I'm not happy about it.
Richard Painter, the top ethics lawyers in the Bush/Cheney administration, described Price's travel practices as "highly unprofessional and really inappropriate". The only problem is that he once said Trump "looks like he's got a squirrel sitting on his head".
"I'm not going to comment on that because the President hasn't commented publicly", Kellyanne Conway, a senior White House adviser, told reporters.
Back in August, the president was asked if he still had confidence in Steve Bannon, then a senior strategist.
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 rules that I thought were the rules that we operated under, were: commercial travel - economy", she said.