President Donald Trump isn’t judging officials’ use of private or military jets just by whether it’s legal, after Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned on Friday over his travel, a top White House official said.
“The question is whether or not it’s right, and I think that’s the lens that the president wants to look at this travel through, not just whether or not it follows the law,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Price resigned Friday after Politico reported that he took more than two dozen private flights at taxpayer expense as well as trips to Europe, Africa and Asia on military aircraft, at a total cost of more than $1 million. Media reports have also documented private or military travel by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
“My guess is, and there’s ongoing investigations at a couple different administration agencies right now, we’ll find out that all of this travel was entirely legal,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney on Friday issued a memo requiring approval from the White House chief of staff for “travel on Government-owned, rented, leased, or chartered aircraft” under most circumstances, though he said Zinke’s travel to remote areas appeared to fall within the exceptions.
“There are absolutely times where this type of travel is appropriate,” Mulvaney said. “There’s no commercial service anywhere near where he was going.”
Mulvaney called Price’s situation “unfortunate” but said “the president is telling everybody it’s not going to happen again.”