Health Secretary Tom Price Resigns After Drawing Ire for Chartered Flights

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Tom Price Resigns Under Pressure

Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, resigned on Friday. Mr. Price drew criticism for his use of expensive chartered flights, which undermined President Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” of an entitled capital.

By CHRIS CIRILLO, GLENN THRUSH and A.J. CHAVAR on Publish Date September 29, 2017. Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

WASHINGTON — Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, resigned under pressure on Friday after racking up at least $400,000 in travel bills for chartered flights and undermining President Trump’s promise to drain the swamp of a corrupt and entitled capital.

Already in trouble with Mr. Trump for months of unsuccessful efforts to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health care program, Mr. Price failed to defuse the president’s anger over his high-priced travel by agreeing to pay a portion of the cost and expressing “regret” for his actions.

In a statement, the White House said that Mr. Price “offered his resignation earlier today and the president accepted.”

It said Mr. Trump will tap Don J. Wright of Virginia to serve as acting secretary at midnight Friday. Mr. Wright currently serves as the deputy assistant secretary for health and as director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Mr. Price’s resignation came barely an hour after Mr. Trump publicly dressed him down for the second time in a week and said he would decide whether to fire the secretary by the end of the day. “I’m not happy, O.K.?” the president told reporters before boarding a helicopter as he headed to his New Jersey golf club for the weekend. “I can tell you, I’m not happy.”

Mr. Price’s job was on the line ever since the first of a string of reports by Politico on Sept. 19 about his extensive use of charter aircraft. Mr. Trump has fumed privately and publicly about Mr. Price’s actions, fearing that they undercut his promise to rid Washington of the sort of abuses that have soured the public on its political class. The president made clear on Friday that he also saw it as undermining his promise to save the government money, citing efforts to renegotiate contracts.

Continue reading the main storySource: New York Times – Politics

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