Following Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s resignation in the midst of his private-jet scandal, the travel plans and other expenses of other Trump cabinet members are coming under scrutiny. While plenty of eye-brow-raising travel expenses have already been incurred, a new one is currently under investigation — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
The Interior Department’s inspector general’s office announced Monday that it was looking into Zinke’s use of taxpayer-funded charter planes after “numerous complaints.” Zinke has traveled on private or military planes several times already in 2017, including a “$12,000 trip from Las Vegas to an airport near his hometown” as well as a trip in the Caribbean:
The Las Vegas trip has attracted particular scrutiny, because Zinke was appearing at an event affiliated with a major campaign donor that kept him from catching a commercial flight to Montana. He gave a motivational speech to a dinner for the Las Vegas Golden Knights, a new hockey team owned by Bill Foley, the chairman of Fidelity National Financial. Employees and PACs associated with Fidelity and associated companies have donated nearly $200,000 to Zinke’s past congressional campaigns.
Campaign for Accountability, a watchdog group, complained that the Las Vegas speech looked an awful lot like a special favor. Last week, Zinke said it was “a little B.S.”
Meanwhile, EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt has been quiet about his spending and frequent travel, but Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin not been quiet about his. On Sunday, Mnuchin called his August trip to view the solar eclipse with his wife at Fort Knox “completely justifiable.”
It’s weird that these guys think this sort of thing is okay, right?