Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has come under heavy criticism for his use of private planes for official government travel, which Politico reported was also mixed “with personal affairs.” Earlier this week, the House announced that it would conduct a probe into jet use by Price (along with a few other cabinet members), but House Democrats are already calling for Price to resign. Price probably won’t step down, however, even after President Trump said he wasn’t happy with the relevant reports. Instead, Price promises that he won’t travel on private flights anymore and will even reimburse the government for this cost of his seats on those flights:
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said he will write a personal check to the federal government for his costs of traveling on private jets and will permanently halt his use of charter flights.
“The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes,” Price said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
When asked earlier about the situation outside the National Press Club Thursday, an unconcerned Price said, “We’re gonna work through this. I think we’ve still got the confidence of the president.”
President Trump was also asked about Price’s comments by the press pool, and instead of commenting, he turned away from the reporters and walked back to the White House. A day earlier, Trump said, “We’ll see” when he was asked if he would fire Price over the scandal.
So far, Politico has discovered at least 26 private flights taken by Price at a cost of over $400,000, including a flight from D.C. to Philadelphia and a flight to Maine where he met with a healthcare industry CEO.