Trump says he’ll make decision “tonight” on Tom Price

President Trump on Friday said he will decide the fate of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price “sometime tonight,” as Price is under intense scrutiny for his use of private charter planes and military jets.

Mr. Trump, speaking to reporters before leaving for his golf club in New Jersey Friday afternoon, said he would “probably be announcing something in the very near future,” and called Price, “a very, very fine man.” Price has billed the federal government for at least $400,000 worth of private charters for domestic flights, and flown military jets abroad to the tune of at least $500,000, according to Politico. Price on Thursday pledged to pay back nearly $52,000 to the U.S. Treasury for his seat, although critics quickly pointed out that doesn’t come close to the reported total for his flights. 

Mr. Trump said he feels “very badly” about Price, calling him a good man. Mr. Trump also said the Obama administration took a lot of flights and spent a lot of time in the air. Mr. Trump said he’s working to save lots of money in his administration, so he doesn’t like the “optics” of what Price reportedly did. 

“Look, I think he’s a very fine person,” Mr. Trump said. “I certainly don’t like the optics.”

“I’m not happy, I can tell you, I’m not happy,” he added.

Price has particularly drawn criticism because he preached fiscal conservatism when he was in Congress, and harped on then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her use of a private jet. His travel is under investigation by the HHS inspector general.

But Price isn’t the only secretary who is under scrutiny. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s travel is under review after he reportedly flew on a government plane to view the eclipse with his wife last month, and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt spent more than $58,000 on non-commercial travel, CBS News has reported. 

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Source: CBS News – Politics

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