President Joe Biden’s Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, reportedly traveled on military aircraft to the Netherlands with his husband to attend the fifth Invictus Games, according to a calendar obtained by Americans for Public Trust (APT).
As Fox News reported:
On April 15, Buttigieg traveled from Joint Base Andrews to Rotterdam, Netherlands, via “MilAir Flight” before returning two days later on military aircraft, the calendar obtained by Americans for Public Trust (APT) and shared with Fox News Digital showed. According to photos from the event and media reports, the transportation secretary traveled to the Netherlands with his husband.
President Biden announced that Buttigieg would lead a presidential delegation, which included lawmakers and fellow administration officials, to the Invictus Games days prior to the event in April. The event was founded by Prince Harry in 2014 as a multi-sport competition for wounded, injured or sick soldiers and military veterans. Buttigieg joined the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2009 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014.
After releasing Buttigieg’s calendar, APT questioned whether his travel raised a “double standard,” given that former President Donald Trump’s former Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, resigned amid reports that he cost taxpayers more than $1 million for using government-funded private jets and military aircraft.
Ultimately, Price reimbursed the government for some travel costs after it was reported his wife accompanied him on military aircraft during overseas trips.
Buttigieg has used government-funded private jets “on at least 18 occasions since taking office, despite arguing for aggressive climate change policies and carbon emission reductions,” according to APT.
It is unclear whether Buttigieg has reimbursed the government for his husband’s travel costs.
Buttigieg’s critics blasted him on Twitter after APT’s report, with most noting his failures at the Department of Transportation and recent flight cancelations across the country.
“While families’ holiday travel plans were upended by his department’s failures, Buttigieg has used their tax dollars to avoid problems he created,” APT tweeted.
🚨New: @SecretaryPete took military aircraft to attend a sporting event in the Netherlands with his husband.
While families’ holiday travel plans were upended by his department's failures, Buttigieg has used their tax dollars to avoid problems he createdhttps://t.co/z0tZeVMApC
— Americans for Public Trust (@apublictrust) January 4, 2023
“Your holiday flights were delayed or canceled but Pete Buttigieg brought his husband on a military aircraft to attend sporting event in Netherlands,” Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) press secretary, Abigail Marone, tweeted.
American Majority founder and CEO Ned Ryun accused Buttigieg of being “the poster boy for an arrogant and detached idiocracy.”
Little Pete is the poster boy for an arrogant and detached idiocracy. https://t.co/XKFrnLVTbw
— Ned Ryun (@nedryun) January 4, 2023
“Wild story – to summarize, while commercial air travel has been a disaster for you:
Mayor Pete has taken 18 private jet flights He took Chasten on a military plane to attend a sporting event in Europe.. with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry,” GOP communicator Matt Whitlock tweeted.
However, the Transportation Department defended Buttigieg’s travel habits, telling Fox News:
The Secretary was proud to be asked to be part of the Presidential Delegation that the State Department organized for the Invictus Games — an international event supporting wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans. The delegation met with the U.S. team of wounded veterans and active service members as part of the visit.
Biden’s White House also backed Buttigieg, claiming “It’s standard practice for military aircraft to be provided for White House organized cabinet-level presidential delegations.”