Breaking news from the Trump administration Friday as Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned. Price faced criticism throughout the week over his repeated use of expensive private charter jets instead of flying commercial. The announcement of Prices resignation comes only one day after he pledged to reimburse the government for a small portion of the flight costs and would avoid further use of the private for future travels.
“It is an honor and privilege to serve you as the Secretary of Health and Human Services.” Price wrote in his resignation letter. “I have spent forty years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first. Iregret that the recent events have created a distraction from these important objectives.”
“In a four-day stretch in September, Price took flights costing an estimated $60,000 in total, according to Politico. Some of those flights came at times when dramatically cheaper commercial air travel would have been available.”
Politico on Thursday reported that Price had also taken trips overseas using military jets, at a cost of more than $500,000 — putting the total tab for his penchant for pricey travel above $1 million.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump told reporters “I am not happy about” Price’s use of private planes, “and I let him know it.”
Price was reportedly already on thin ice with top officials in the Trump administration when the controversy exploded over his pricey jet jaunts.
There is speculation that Price had lost the president’s confidence for not enough in recent weeks to support the effort in Congress to repeal and replace major parts of Obamacare.
Price is the second Trump administration Cabinet-level member to step down after Reince Priebus was replaced by John Kelly in July.