Tom Price Resigns As HHS Secretary Amid Private Jet Scandal

Tyler Durden's picture

As part of the growing private jet (ab)use scandal that has recently rocked the Trump administration, on Friday afternoon the White House announced that Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price offered his resignation and President Trump has accepted, according to the Press Sec. office.

Full White House statment below:

Statement from the Press Secretary

 

Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the President accepted. The President intends to designate Don J. Wright of Virginia to serve as Acting Secretary, effective at 11:59 p.m. on September 29, 2017. Mr. Wright currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

And here is Price's full resignation letter:

The resignation follows a Politico report according to which Tim Price took military jets to Europe, Asia for over $500K. In addition to all of the more than two dozen private and chartered jets Price has taken since May, the pricetag had risen north of $1 million taxpayer dollars, according to calculations made by Politico.

Trump had previously left open the question of Price's future employment. "I was looking into it and I will look into it," he told reporters earlier this week. "I will tell you personally, I'm not happy about it. I am not happy about it I'm going to look at it. I let him know it." Asked whether he will fire Price over the private jet use, Trump responded cryptically: "We'll see."

Price, sensing he is in deep trouble, tried to stanch the bleeding on Thursday by pledging to write a check covering the cost of his seat on all of these private plane trips - including one from Washington to Philadelphia that cost $25,000.

In the end it wasn't enough.

Price if just the first of as many as Trump admin officials who are in trouble over private jet use. As Axios summarizes, there are at least four others who are in hot water over the exact same thing:

Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency administrator

The flights: A June 7 military flight to Ohio then New York ($36,068); a July 27 charter flight from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Guymon, Oklahoma ($14,434); an August 4 charter flight from Denver, Colorado, to Durango, ColoradoA ($5,719); an August 9 flight on the North Dakota governor's plane ($2,144). Pruitt took "non-commercial" flights costing taxpayers more than $58,000, according to CBS News.

 

The defense: "When the administrator travels, he takes commercial flights," EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman told the Washington Post Wednesday, adding that the one charter flight and three government flights were due to particular circumstances.

 

Last month, the EPA's inspector general announced it was launching a preliminary probe into Pruitt's travels to Oklahoma.

Steve Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary

The flights: Mnuchin requested a government jet earlier this year for his honeymoon, according to ABC News. He and his wife also used a government jet when traveling to Louisville and Fort Knox, Kentucky, which coincided with the eclipse. An Air Force spokesman told ABC News that a government jet typically costs roughly $25,000 per hour to operate.

 

The defense: Mnuchin told Politico's Ben White that the honeymoon story was "misreported" and the use of such a plane would only be for "national security" purposes. He also denied that his Kentucky trip had anything to do with watching the eclipse.

 

Mnuchin later withdrew the plane request for his honeymoon. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department's Inspector General is reviewing his Kentucky trip.

Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior

The flights: Zinke and his aides have reportedly taken several flights on private or military aircraft, including a $12,000 charter flight — which belongs to Nielson & Associates, a Wyoming-based oil-and-gas exploration firm — from Las Vegas to his hometown in Montana, and private flights between St. Croix and St. Thomas in U.S. Virgin Islands, per the Washington Post. Total cost: Unclear, as the total number of charter or military flights is unknown.

 

The defense: Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Swift said those trips were booked only after officials failed to find commercial flights that would accommodate Zinke's schedule. She added that they all were "pre-cleared by career officials in the ethics office," per Politico.

 

The defense: "All this travel was done only after it was determined by multiple career officials at the department that no commercial options existed to meet the promulgated scheduled," Zinke said. "The flights were only booked after extensive due diligence by the career professionals in the department's general law and ethics division."

 

The Interior Department said in a statement to the Huffington Post Friday that Zinke's travel "was completely compliant with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations."

David Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs

The flights/luxury purchases: Although Shulkin flew commercial to Europe for meetings with Danish and British officials about veterans' health issues in July, he did use government funds to fly his wife out, stating that she was traveling on "approved invitational orders," per the Washington Post. The government also provided a stipend for her meals. They also attended a Wimbledon championship tennis match, toured Westminster Abbey, and took a cruise on the Thames.

 

The defense: All of Shulkin's activities on the trip, including Wimbledon visit, "were reviewed and approved by ethics counsel," VA press secretary Curt Cashour said in a statement.

 

In response to questions from The Post, the VA announced Friday that they'll start posting details of the Shulkin's travel online, and disclose any use of government or private aircraft. This information was never previously public.

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LindseyNarratesWordress's picture

YESSSSS!!!!!  

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a MUCH-NEEDED VICTORY!!! for those of us fighting-against (((The Swamp))), and (((its))) goy-minions.

 

This fucker, goy-minion, Tom Price, was involved in MASSIVE insider-trading, as a Congressman, but, NOW!!!, we have SOME semblance-of-justice, and now this fucker's reputation is GONE, GONE, GONE!!!  These creatures-of-(((The Swamp))), honestly-to-God, believe that they can do WHATEVER they want, WHENEVER they want, HOWEVER they want, but that is just not true, once the reality-of-their-hubris is revealed.

 

Lindsey

curbjob's picture

So let me get this straight ; Politico is tasked with draining said swamp ??

 

 

Without this being reported, do you think this administration would have fired him ?

jmack's picture

Do you think it would have been reported if  Hillary or Bernie were in  the oval office?

 

     Obama admin officials and Nancy pelosi and her crew  flew the shit out of military jets,  but they are the "good" guys, so none of it is reported.

curbjob's picture

Why lower the bar ? 

 

jcaz's picture

BTW Tommy- don't forget to leave a check for the balance you owe on those flights on your way out, motherfucker.......

MoreFreedom's picture

Who cares?  Isn't it the job of the press to expose such abuse of taxpayers?   So that's yet another reason to elect conservatives! Let's just hope they are real conservatives and not the RINOs that dominate the GOP in Congress.

They don't report such extravagances for liberals politicians (except, it did happen when Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton met at the airport each travelling in their private jets - but then no comments were made about the extravagance of private jet travel). 

JRobby's picture

This guy is a shit. All self-entitled shits should be shot dead.

vato poco's picture

actual accountability. what a quaint notion. yeah, all the trolls are right: Trump's exactly like Hillary and/or Jeb woulda been

curbjob's picture

 

"This guy is a shit. All self-entitled shits should be shot dead."

 

C'mon that's a little harsh .. it's not like he dropped  a knee during the anthem . 

CheapBastard's picture

This is a nothing burger compared to the Clinton's history of rapes and murders.

 

Tom Cruise's 'American Made' Nixed Scene With Bill Clinton Getting Lap Dance (Exclusive)

 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news/tom-cruises-american-made-nixed-sce...

JRobby's picture

Tom Cruise is still around?

jcaz's picture

Yep- he hangs out with Xenu in the 11th dimension or some Scientology shit......

Bigly's picture

How hard is it to find a non-slimy, non-douchebag person to fill these slots?

Obviously impossible 

Paul Kersey's picture

This was my favorite part:

"During his Senate confirmation hearings as HHS secretary, Price was criticized for having traded more than $300,000 worth of about 40 health-care stocks in the previous four years, which involved companies that could have benefited from legislation he favored as a House member.

For one of those companies, the small Australian biotech firm Innate Immunotherapeutics, Price was offered the opportunity to buy shares at a discount, while sitting on a committee that could affect the financial outlook of the firm.

 Price was offered the opportunity to buy shares at a discount, while sitting on a committee that could affect the financial outlook of the firm. Price eventually sold his stake in the company during the HHS confirmation process and made a profit of at least $225,000 on a $94,000 investment, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Price during his Senate hearings denied that he invested using nonpublic information. "Everything that we have done is absolutely aboveboard, transparent, legal and ethical," he said at the time."

 

Next to go, the other big spender of public money on personal trips, Steve (the Goldmanite Soros partner) Mnuchin.

JRobby's picture

Like I said, shoot him. Fuck this take a knee shit!

Normalcy Bias's picture

Price is a fucking PIKER compared to the likes of Bill Frist.

Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

Just who the hell does this guy think he is, Nazi Pelosi?

Anteater's picture

Just who the hell does this guy think he is, Michael Cherthoff?

Pigeon's picture

Not saying it's right that these govt turds should be flying on private and/or miltary. But I do not recall this sort of inquisition into any of Obama's admin. Except, you know, there was news about Mooch taking the kids off on many sundry, solo AF and SS -accompanied flights.

Anteater's picture

Trump has OVER 1,000 SS AGENTS and is part of the reason thr Pentagon

blew out its entire 2017 budget in only 6 months. The other reason is that

ISRAEL RECEIVES MORE AID THAN HOUSTON OR PUERTO RICO!!

thisisallnonsense's picture

not only should he pay back the money. these scumbags should also pay a large fine for misuse of taxpayer funds. the fact that they get away is disgusting. hes a theif and should be treated just like any other theif.

Moving and Grooving's picture

If federal government employees had to behave and stop wasting our money, you'd be able to hear the howling from DC in Seattle.

 

 

libertyanyday's picture

kind of refreshing.........fraud uncovered, repayment negotioated, terminated..........end of story.  Unlike a Hillary Clinton event...........

Al Gophilia's picture

That's right ....... end of story, but where's the charge for embezzlement: The misappropriation of employers funds or funds placed in your trust? These cretins are guilty on both counts.

RagaMuffin's picture

Pigs at a trough will pig

Amendment X's picture

Just like Confederate memorials, this was not a problem until January 20, 2017? Oh, I get it. 

assistedliving's picture

good riddance.  Miller demotion next.

roadhazard's picture

The well oiled machine throws another rod.

gigadeath's picture

Moore's victory is pulled the plug on the swamp! You know what time it is, its time to make America great again!

hooligan2009's picture

some details here

There were 77 so-called White House support missions authorized between Jan. 20 and Sept. 19, according to statistics compiled by the White House military office. By comparison, there were 94 such flights during the first eight months of Obama’s tenure.

-more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article1...
hooligan2009's picture

25,000 bucks an hour for military planes?

holy shit.. only tax payers and massive deficits could afford such an AIRLINE

pynky01's picture

Was that the shuttle ?  

Moving and Grooving's picture

Maybe an 8-engine Buff with a 24 X 1000 lb load?

 

You never know when/where you might need one loaded up and already in the air, right?

 

 

Anteater's picture

ISRAEL RECEIVED MORE AID THAN HOUSTON OR PUERTO RICO!

hooligan2009's picture

the swamp is deep. imagine spending 800 billion of the MIC budget on america instead of blowing the shit out of other countries.

Al Gophilia's picture

Imagine a system which restricted their spending?!!! Oh... yearh... that one.

Blanco Diablo's picture

Top figures during President Barack Obama’s tenure who used non-commercial planes for travel included then-attorney generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, then-FBI director Robert Mueller, and then-CIA director and defense secretary Leon Panetta.

Like these officials, top figures during the Obama administration raised eyebrows with some of their travel.

In 2014, Holder, while attorney general, boarded a government-owned Gulfstream and flew to the Belmont Stakes Thoroughbred horse race in New York with his daughters, their boyfriends and two security officers.

According to records obtained by The Daily Caller from the Department of Justice, that trip cost the government $14,440. But Holder only had to reimburse the government $955 for that flight -- the equivalent cost of a coach commercial airline ticket for each non-law enforcement passenger.

Leon Panetta, who served as both CIA director and defense secretary during the Obama years, frequently used a government airplane to commute back and forth from Washington to California nearly every weekend at taxpayer expense.

The Washington Times reported then that each flight cost about $32,000 but Panetta only had to pay $630 per trip, because that was the cost of an equivalent round-trip commercial flight. It noted that the government required defense secretaries to use a military plane for travel, and Panetta had the approval of Obama to fly home every weekend.

 

HRH Feant2's picture

He flew on a private plane with his brats to the Belmont? Seriously? This is the first time I have heard about asshat Holder! Thanks!

I have watched the triple crown my entire life. Have never been to one race. These people live life on a whole other scale from the little people.

Jeez, I feel like a slug and unworthy to be alive while these assholes jet set hither and yon. And I come from a family of pilots. Grandfather was Lt. Col. in Army Air Corps. My father was also a pilot.

Al Gophilia's picture

Dems and Repubs sewn into the same sack on their wedding night.

HRClinton's picture

Is swish Sessions next? I hope so.

ReturnOfDaMac's picture

Oh please, please, please, ax mr.potter!!!

GoldHermit's picture

Well there is one thing that crosses all party lines and that is that all the sons of bitches feel entitled

NvrGivUp's picture

So amazing, the entltlement of these mofos makes my blood boil.

TheSilentMajority's picture

Fkn weasel creep.

Fuckofff you thief!!