While speaking to reporters on Wednesday, President Trump expressed displeasure with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's private jet use and said that he had communicated his displeasure to Secretary Price. "I'm not happy, and I let him know it", Trump said.
At one point, when asked if he would fire Price, the President said, "We'll see".
Initially, when it was reported by Politico that Price had taken five trips on chartered executive planes, his office tried to explain the flights as a temporary measure made necessary by a hectic schedule as Price tried to respond to repeated hurricanes.
The committee sent a letter to Price asking that he "identify each usage of a private, non-commercial aircraft by a non-career official" by October 10.
"I will tell you, personally, I am not happy about it", Trump said. Price took a government-owned jet last month to a Georgia resort where he and his wife own property, according to the article, and in June he took a private flight to a health summit in Nashville, where he had a lengthy lunch with his son.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday that Price's trips weren't "White House-approved travel".
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Richard Painter, the top ethics lawyers in the Bush/Cheney administration, described Price's travel practices as "highly unprofessional and really inappropriate". Politico found that since May, Price has taken 26 flights on corporate jets, and in several cases, there were commercial flights available to his destinations. I'm going to look at it.
The HHS inspector general's office began a review last week to determine if Price complied with federal travel regulations, which generally require officials to minimize costs. Price is a former GOP congressman from Georgia.
Yet when Price was named to a Cabinet position and the opportunity arose to pamper himself at taxpayer's expense, his sense of personal entitlement was apparently too strong to resist.
Trump spoke to reporters Wednesday as he departed the White House for a trip to Indianapolis to sell his tax plan.
He has said he will halt private plane travel on official business while the internal review is being conducted.
Back in August, the president was asked if he still had confidence in Steve Bannon, then a senior strategist.