Trump to make decision Friday on firing Price

President Trump said Friday he would decide “tonight” whether to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceBiden health nominee faces first Senate test Focus on cabinet nominees' effectiveness and expertise, not just ideology Conspicuous by their absence from the Republican Convention MORE.

“He’s a very fine man. We’re going to make a decision sometime tonight,” Trump told reporters, according to a White House pool report.

"I certainly don't like the optics. I'm not happy, I can tell you that. I'm not happy," Trump continued.

Price is under criticism for his use of private and military aircraft for government travel.

Politico reported that Price has used military flights for multiple overseas trips costing taxpayers more than $500,000, bringing his total travel tab to more than $1 million since May. 

Trump said Wednesday he was “not happy” with Price’s use of private planes and said “we’ll see” when asked if he planned to fire Price.

Seeking to quell the uproar over his private jet flights, Price said Thursday that he would pay for his seat on the planes. But that means he is only paying part of the cost and plans to pay $52,000.

"It is clear to me that in this case, I was not sensitive enough to my concern for the taxpayer," Price said in a statement Thursday. "I know as well as anyone that the American people want to know that their hard-earned dollars are being spent wisely by government officials."

If Price were fired, it would set off a contentious confirmation process in the Senate for his replacement. Democrats would be sure to press any potential successor about how they would oversee ObamaCare and what they deem "sabotage" of enrollment efforts under the law.

Updated 3:46 p.m.