Trump hints at firing Health Secretary Tom Price over airplane use

Crews douse a Vaughan home with water after an early morning fire Sept. 27 2017. CITYNEWS

President Trump told reporters today that he's "not happy with" Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price over the multiple reports of his extensive private jet use.

President Donald Trump says he's "not happy" with his top health official, putting Tom Price's job in jeopardy after his costly charter flights on the taxpayer's dime triggered a congressional investigation of the administration. "And I let him know it".

Trump says "we'll see" about whether he was going to fire his Health and Human Services secretary.

"On September 19th, Politico reported that you had chartered a private jet on several short official trips, including a $25,000 private flight from Washington, D.C.to Philadelphia and back - a trip that would at most cost $725 round-trip on a commercial airline", the letter reads. And I will tell you personally, I'm not happy about it. According to Politico, the list includes at least two expensive chartered flights to locations where Price's "work responsibilities" were at best minimal, but where - just by accident, of course - he either owned property or had family to visit.

Asked Wednesday whether he has confidence in Price, Trump declined to offer a clear answer, saying only that he is "looking into it".

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday at her daily press briefing that Price's travel was not approved by the White House, and was instead improve through HHS.

Last week, when stories first emerged about travel by Price on charter flights, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services defended his decision to take private jets instead of commercial flights.

Price's use of private flights stands in contrast to his immediate predecessors, Kathleen Sebelius and Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who would typically fly commercial.

"This is way too many private flights", said Cole, who is friendly with Price, a former congressman, from their time serving together.

Trump's remarks were the latest example of the White House distancing itself from Price's actions. Sebelius said in an interview with Bloomberg that when she served as secretary HHS officials were required to fly economy for all trips that were shorter than 12 hours.

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