Price halts use of private jets during investigations

Price halts use of private jets during investigations
© Getty

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceZinke under federal investigation for speech to NHL team: report Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Senate confirms No. 2 spot at HHS, days after Price resigns MORE will cease using private charter jets to travel around the country in the midst of an investigation from the HHS Inspector General office on his travel expenditures.

“We’ve heard the criticism. We’ve heard the concerns. We take that very seriously and have taken it to heart,” Price told Fox News Saturday.  “I don’t think there will be any charter trips until this review is complete. I think that’s appropriate because of the concerns that we’ve heard.”

Price added that he has ordered an official review of how his office organizes travel and for his team to make changes that "are necessary."

“We will cooperate fully with it,” Price said. “I instituted or initiated as well an internal departmental review of the procedures and processes that we go through for official travel to determine whether there are any changes or reforms that are necessary. And if there are, then we look forward to instituting those, because we welcome this review.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The former Georgia lawmaker insinuated that the accusations are politically motivated by enemies of the Trump administration. The criticism was sparked by a Politico report earlier this week that found Price has spent more than $300,000 in charter jet flights since early May.

“Remember that there are folks who want to see this president fail; there are folks who want to see this administration fail,” Price said Saturday. “That is part of the stream; we are swimming upstream against that kind of current, but that’s not dissuading us at all.”

In 2010, when he was a congressman, Price criticized then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for "flying over our country in a luxury jet." Price said his situation was different on Saturday, but acknowledged it wasn't ideal from a public relations perspective.

“I think the issue with the speaker, the former speaker, was a different matter,” he said Saturday. But, “the optics in some of this don’t look good,” he admitted.