Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price has resigned, according to the White House after a series of reports uncovered expensive private flights billed to taxpayers for travel.
Tom Price has resigned pic.twitter.com/Kdl1aJd357
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) September 29, 2017
The White House made the announcement right after the president indicated he would make a decision “very soon” about Price. “I think he’s a very fine person, I certainly don’t like the optics,” Trump said when asked by reporters about the investigation.
“I think he’s a very fine person, I certainly don’t like the optics,” Trump said. He added that Price was a “very good man” but that he was not pleased with the news.
The investigation spearheaded by Politico uncovered about $1 million in taxpayer-funded private, charter, and military planes during the eight months of his time in office.
“I’m not happy, I can tell you,” Trump said.
Price tried to apologize for the flights, vowing not to do it again and even offering to refund taxpayers for some of the cost, but it was apparently not enough for the White House.
Trump told reporters that the White House would be putting a stop to cabinet officials traveling on private flights.
“We put in an order … no more planes,” Trump said, pointing out that the Obama administration spent a lot of time and money on airplane flights.
He stated at the time that Price had not offered to resign, but said “we’ll see” about the future of his job as HHS Secretary.
Approximately 30 minutes later, the White House released its statement announcing Price’s resignation.