The US Secretary of Health and Human Services has been dogged with scandal after it was revealed he spent vast sums of public money on private jets. The US president said he did not ‘like the optics’ of the scandal.
Embattled US Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned on Friday, the White House announced.
Price had been heavily criticized for his use of private charter flights for official government business.
Price used costly private aircraft on 26 separate occasions costing taxpayers $400,000 (340,000 euros), according to news outlet Politico.
He attempted to rectify the scandal by paying back a fraction of the total cost.
US President Donald Trump warned on Friday he was considering Price’s future.
“I don’t like the optics,” Trump said.”I’m not happy, I can tell you I’m not happy.”
The trips were ostensibly official business, but they included destinations where Price owns property.
Price is the first cabinet member to leave the administration, from which several high-ranking aides have already been ousted. Price served less than eight months.
The scandal prompted a broad investigation of the travel expenses of top political appointees.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was also put under the spotlight for his use of three charter flights since taking office in March, including a $12,375 late-night flight from Las Vegas to his home state of Montana. He dismissed the controversy on Friday as “a little BS over travel.”
More to come…
aw/kl (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)