President Donald Trump expressed his dissatisfaction Wednesday with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price as Price faces multiple investigations into his use of chartered aircraft for government travel.
“I’m not happy about it, and I will let him know it,” said Trump, who also answered, “We’ll see,” when asked by reporters if he would fire Price.
The HHS secretary is just one of three Trump administration officials who have drawn particular scrutiny in recent weeks for their use of private planes at taxpayer expense. In response, the House Oversight Committee initiated an inquiry into federal agency travel Wednesday. The committee has asked the White House and all 24 federal agencies to account for all senior officials’ travel since the inauguration by Oct. 10.
Here’s a look at the current trio of controversies:
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
On Sept. 13, ABC News was the first to report that Mnuchin requested the use of government plane to fly him and his wife, actress Louise Linton, to Europe for their honeymoon over the summer. The request led to an inquiry by the Treasury Department’s Office of the Inspector General.
Mnuchin later defended the action, claiming that a government jet would have provided him with a secure line of communication back to the United States, and therefore the request was in the interest of “national security.” Officials familiar with the request characterized it as unusual and it was ultimately withdrawn.
The Air Force says it costs roughly $25,000 an hour to operate its C-37, the military’s equivalent to a Gulfstream jet. It charges outside agencies roughly 10,000 an hour to fly in one.
The probe into the honeymoon jet request was the second instance of Mnuchin drawing the scrutiny of his department’s inspector general. When the news emerged about the Europe trip, the secretary was already the subject of an inquiry after he and Linton traveled to Kentucky on Aug. 21, the day of the total solar eclipse.
A Treasury Department spokesperson portrayed timing of the trip and the eclipse’s path through Kentucky that day as coincidental at the time, saying “the eclipse did not even factor in the travel decision.”
The trip received additional publicity due to an Instagram post by Linton that showed her and Mnuchin walking down the stairs of their government plane including hashtags of…