Donald Trump has a big problem. It seems, many of the people he picked to staff his top administration positions have a serious entitlement issue. Last week, former senator and former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price turned in his resignation, at the request of the president, because he racked up over a million dollars in taxpayer-funded private and military plane trips. Trump also gave Price a two-hour rage package before he left. Yet, nearly every day we hear about another investigation, and this is the latest.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney sent a memo to agency heads with an important message. POLITICO wrote that it included:
‘(J)ust because something is legal doesn’t make it right.’
Price and three other top Trump officials are in big trouble. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin asked for a government plane to use on his European honeymoon this summer. Then, the newlyweds took a trip on a chartered flight to Fort Knox to inspect the gold. Coincidentally, the top of the building just happened to be an ideal place to watch the eclipse.
Then, there was the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s taxpayer-funded chartered and governmental flights, totaling over $58,000. They included a private flight to Colorado and almost weekly trips back to his home state, Oklahoma. Pundits speculate that he is laying the groundwork for a run as state governor.
The latest Trump secretary to go wild with taxpayer’s money — to the tune of $12,375 — was Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. He has taken chartered flights beginning in March. Two of them were to the Virgin Islands, before the hurricanes, and one from Las Vegas to Montana.
The inspector general for the Interior Department just opened an investigation into Zinke’s, travel history where he also incorporated political appearances. The watchdog group Campaign for Accountability requested the investigation to see if Zinke violated the federal Hatch Act.
This act says executive branch employees cannot engage “in partisan political activity.” The Washington Post reported. Zinke gave a speech to a hockey team, and spokesperson for Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall, Nancy DiPaolo, said it was a broad investigation:
‘(Zinke’s) travel in general, (including) modes of travel, costs and schedules. It’s not just one trip. It’s seven months of travel.’
Campaign for Accountability was not the only reason Kendall is investigating Zinke. The Washington Post also reported there has been a rash of complaints from:
‘(Zinke’s) employees and the public and recent newspaper articles. Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (Ariz.) and A. Donald McEachin (Va.), the top Democrats, respectively, on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the panel’s subcommittee on oversight and investigations, also requested an investigation.’
Check out this video about Trump’s entitled secretaries below via The Washington Post:
Featured Image via Getty Images/Mark Wilson.