President Trump told reporters Wednesday that he is "not happy" about Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's liberal use of chartered aircraft, at a cost of $400,000 to taxpayers, "and I let him know it."
The reports of Price's 26 private flights prompted the House Oversight Committee to launch an inquiry Wednesday into all travel by senior Trump administration officials. So far Trump is reportedly "less perturbed" by reports of questionable public spending by EPA chief Scott Pruitt and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, The New York Times reports. But on top of spending $25,000 for a soundproof phone booth in his office, Pruitt also has spent more than $58,000 on private and military flights, The Washington Post reported Wednesday night.
Pruitt was already under scrutiny by the EPA inspector general for his frequent travels to Oklahoma, and one of the chartered flights, a $14,435 hop from Tulsa to tiny Guymon to discuss a water rule he wants to scrap, was in his home state. The most expensive, at $36,068, was to fly Pruitt from a Trump speech in Cincinnati to New York so Pruitt could make his flight to Rome for a meeting at the Vatican. The EPA said Pruitt usually flies commercial, though EPA records show that when he does, he and his security detail fly first or business class whenever possible because Pruitt "is entitled to business class accommodation due to security concerns." You can read more about his high-flying at The Washington Post.