- Ralph Freso / Getty Images
President Donald Trump’s administration is under increasing scrutiny following reports of the extravagant, taxpayer-funded travels of numerous White House officials.
At least five investigations into Cabinet officials’ use of military and private jets are underway, and have stoked bipartisan criticism over what some call a culture of entitlement within Trump’s White House. So far, the trips have cost the government millions of dollars.
Here’s a look at the White House officials whose travel habits have come under scrutiny:
- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin came under fire in August when it was revealed he took a $26,900 flight to Kentucky on an Air Force jet, a trip that coincided with the August 21 solar eclipse.
Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, viewed the eclipse from the lawn of Fort Knox, just outside the eclipse’s path of totality.
Mnuchin raised eyebrows again in September after ABC News reported he had requested a $25,000-an-hour Air Force jet for his honeymoon in Europe.
A Treasury official said use of the jet was necessary to ensure Mnuchin maintained a secure line of communication. However, the request was denied.
- Thomson Reuters
Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, took at least four taxpayer-funded flights since mid-February at a cost of nearly $60,000.
In response to the news, the EPA’s inspector general expanded the scope of an investigation into the agency’s procedures to include a probe of Pruitt’s travel habits through the end of September.
- Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
Energy Secretary Rick Perry has taken six trips on government or private planes, racking up a $56,000 bill, The Washington Post reported. Many of the destinations he visited were also served by commercial airlines.
- REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
The Interior Department’s watchdog agency launched an investigation into Secretary Ryan Zinke’s travels when it was reported Zinke used a private plane owned by an oil executive. One of the flights he took, from Nevada to Montana, cost taxpayers $12,000.
Zinke’s wife, Lola, has also become a target in the investigation, as she frequently accompanies him on trips. An Interior Department official said Lola Zinke “has never taken a flight at the expense of the department.”
It was reported last month that when David Shulkin, the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, flew to Europe in July to meet with British and Danish officials, he spent about half the time sightseeing with his wife.
The taxpayer-funded trip included a tour of Westminster Abbey, a cruise on the River Thames, and seats at a Wimbledon championship tennis match. According to The Washington Post, the federal government covered the cost of the couple’s flights and a per-diem reimbursement for meals and other expenses.
Tom Price (resigned)
Tom Price, the former Health and Human Services secretary, resigned from his post in late September after sparking bipartisan outrage over his extensive use of chartered flights.
Price’s travel cost taxpayers more than $1 million. Politico found 24 instances in which Price opted for a private jet over commercial flights, at a price tag of more than $400,000, while his the cost for his use of military jets exceeded $500,000.
After news of Price’s travel emerged, he pledged to reimburse the government with $51,887 – the price of his seats on his chartered flights. But in the wake of his resignation, it is unclear if he will fulfill the pledge.