President Trump told reporters today that he's "not happy with" Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price over the multiple reports of his extensive private jet use. "I'm going to look at it", said Trump.
Democrats who requested the review cited a Politico report that Price took five private charter flights along routes and at times when commercial flights were available for a fraction of the cost.
Trump said, "I was looking into it and I will look into it".
The House Oversight and Government Reform committee is launching a wide-ranging examination of air travel by high-ranking Trump officials following reports about Price's trips. Trump's stuck by him until now but this is obviously a bad look for a populist White House, especially with Steve Mnuchin's use of government jets also being scrutinized.
Federal regulations stipulate that "official travel on the part of federal employees must be "by the most expeditious means of transportation practicable" and 'commensurate with the nature and goal of the [employee's] duties, ' and by no means should include personal use", according to the letter. Price is a former GOP congressman from Georgia.More news: CVS to Limit Opioid Prescriptions to 7-Day Supply
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, said in an interview Wednesday that while he had not yet had a chance to talk to Price, his practice of taking so many charter planes reflected "poor judgment". His office has said a busy schedule doesn't always allow him to fly commercial.
The inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that it was investigating Price's travel.
Two other members of Mr Trump's cabinet are also under scrutiny for their use of private planes while on the job.
One Senior Republican aide, speaking before Trump's latest remarks, pushed back on the idea that Price would face any serious consequences for his use of private planes saying unless an email revealed Price asked deliberately not to fly "with the masses", the controversy would be a few days story.
Asked if he has confidence in Price, Johnson went to speak, then stopped himself and walked away.