President Hints At Firing HHS Secretary Over Private Jet Use

Sep 28, 2017
Originally published on September 27, 2017 6:35 pm

"We'll see."

Those are probably not the words you want to hear from the boss if the future of your job is in doubt. (See: Steve Bannon.) But that was President Trump's response to reporters who asked whether he means to fire Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

Earlier this month, Politico reported that Price had used private jets more than two dozen times since May, instead of using commercial flights, which is customary for Cabinet officials not traveling with the president. The alleged cost to taxpayers: more than $400,000 in charter fees, according to Politico.

"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 as he left the White House on his way to visit Indianapolis. Responding to a shouted question as to whether he will fire Price: "We'll see."

The president's remarks come on the same day that the House Oversight Committee launched an investigation into the practice by Price and other senior government officials.

Price told Fox News on Saturday that he would stop the practice pending a review by his department's inspector general.

"We welcome this review," Price said. "We want to make certain that we have the full confidence of not just this administration but the American people."

Earlier this week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to defend Price's use of private jets at taxpayer expense, saying the instances where he did so were not "White House-approved travel."

Politico notes:

"That Price has made a habit of chartering aircraft for his travels as a cabinet member is especially notable given his past criticism of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whom Price, then a member of Congress, lambasted in 2010 for 'flying over our country in a luxury jet.' "

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