HHS Secretary Price regrets private jet flights, vows to reimburse government

Embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Thursday bragged about his sustained support of President Trump amid an uproar over his use of charter aircraft for personal issues.

In a statement released Thursday he said, "I regret the concerns this has raised regarding the use of taxpayers dollars".

Price also said he would not take any more charters.

Also, Price's flights are now the subject of an investigation by the office of the HHS inspector general.

The statement from Price comes after a heated few days between Price and President Trump.

Trump said: "I am not happy about it. 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".

As for Price, he was at the White House on Thursday, but officials said he did not have a meeting with the President, though spokeswoman Sanders indicated that he had spoken with Mr. Trump about the matter.

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In lieu of the ugly development, Price who argued that the accusations are politically motivated by critics of the Trump administration, said this week he will stop using charter flights.

Price is already under fire for running up travel costs of more than $400,000 using government-owned corporate-style jets rather than flying commercial as he travels around the country.

"We're gonna conduct a full review and we'll see what happens", Sanders responded.

Trump's comments seemed to take the health secretary's office by surprise. Since news of Price's travel emerged, other secretaries - including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt - were found to have traveled aboard private charter flights on routes where commercial options were available.

Asked if there were any new air travel rules, Mnuchin said: 'I can tell you that no, there's been no different directives as it relates to me. "As I have previously stated, all of this travel was approved by legal and HHS officials", Price said. Instead, he turned his back and continued to walk back inside the White House. There will be "no exceptions" to the decision to end travel on chartered planes, and he will write a personal check to the Treasury to cover the costs.

Democrats have called on Price to resign following the controversy.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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