There are now three Trump administration officials who have been busted flying on private jets on the taxpayers’ dime.
Republicans have always loved to run on eliminating corruption and government waste. And Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to “drain the swamp.”
But since Trump has taken office, his Cabinet and high-ranking officials have been running wild with personal use of government resources, starting with their penchant for jetting around on private planes.
Although Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos both reluctantly paid for their flights out of their own enormous fortunes, other members of Trump’s Cabinet have been all too happy to stick taxpayers with the bill.
So far, the amount of money Trump administration officials have spent on private jets — that we know of — works out to $1,070,594.19.
HHS/Tom Price: $1,000,000
EPA/Scott Pruit: $58,219.19
DOI/Ryan Zinke: $12,375
There are 23 Cabinet positions.
— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) September 29, 2017
Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who was a vocal crusader against government waste in Congress and has slashed to the bone his department’s funding and resources to get people covered during Obamacare open enrollment, has spent a staggering amount of government money on private jets. When caught, Price initially agreed to repay only the $50,000 for his own seat, despite the fact that the full cost of the flights was reported as $400,000.
Now, yet another new report shows that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is also caught up in the growing scandal.
Zinke —who supports cutting his own agency’s funding by $1.6 billion, laying off huge numbers of people in the National Park Service, and opening portions of the parks to mining and drilling — spent roughly $12,000 in taxpayer money to travel on a private jet. The worst part? The jet is owned by oil company executives. And taxpayers were billed for it.
The rampant abuse of the travel budget by Trump officials has been enabled singularly by Trump’s culture of privilege, entitlement, and lack of transparency. His White House is the embodiment of corruption.