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All the Trump officials who took private jets and still have jobs

Unlike former Health Secretary Tom Price, they're still employed.

by Carter Sherman
Oct 5 2017, 11:36am

Tom Price may be out as health and human services secretary after reportedly racking up more than $1 million worth of private jet travel, but he leaves behind a host of Trump administration members who reportedly share his penchant for taking personal trips and jet setting around on chartered and military planes — often on taxpayer’s dime.

Here are all the other Trump administration members who, like Price, have suggested they need to travel on private or military aircraft — but who, unlike Price, are still employed:

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke becomes emotional while speaking about the Trump Administration's energy policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Some of Zinke’s reported flights on private or military planes were likely justified — there aren’t too many commercial flights in the remote corners of Alaska, for example. But flights between two Caribbean islands and a $12,000 charter plane to Zinke’s hometown of Montana have raised eyebrows. The second flight, in particular, caught the attention of the office of the inspector general for the Interior Department, which has since launched an investigation into Zinke’s travel, Politico reports.

Zinke says he follows the law every time he travels and called the controversy surrounding his travel itinerary “a little B.S.”

Read: Here are some pictures of John Kelly

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency of United States (EPA), during the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Environment ongioing in Bologna, Italy, 11 June 2017. (ANSA/ GIORGIO BENVENUTI)

Pruitt has flown on at least four non-commercial and military flights, which add up to more than $58,000, the Washington Post reported. The EPA said each of those flights — which included a $36,068.50 jaunt to join Trump on a trip centered around fixing U.S. infrastructure — were necessary due to unique circumstances, and that the White House had approved each one.

Pruitt also took a $14,000 visit to Guymon, Oklahoma, where he reportedly talked to farmers about closing EPA offices.

The EPA’s inspector general, meanwhile, recently announced a preliminary probe into Pruitt’s extensive, taxpayer-funded travels in his home state of Oklahoma, where Pruitt spent 43 out of 92 days between March and May.

Read: An hour-by-hour account of Trump’s vacation meltdown

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Steven T. Mnuchin appears before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance considering his nomination to be Secretary of the Treasury on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Thursday, January 19, 2017. (Ron Sachs / CNP - NO'WIRE'SERVICE - Photo by: Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Mnuchin’s private jet travel first drew controversy after his wife, Louise Linton, posted an Instagram photo of herself disembarking a government jet — and then mocked a woman who commented, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.”

That jet, it turned out, had been used to fly Mnuchin and Linton to Kentucky, where they watched the August 21 eclipse from Fort Knox. The administration had to deny that eclipse viewing was the primary purpose of trip, calling it official government travel.” Mnuchin also asked the White House if he could use a government jet to fly to Europe for his honeymoon, for national security reasons, but later withdrew the request.

Mnuchin also asked the White House if he could use a government jet to fly to Europe for his honeymoon, citing national security reasons, but later withdrew the request. A Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General report later found that Mnuchin had also flown seven times on military aircraft, a cost of more than $800,000. One of those trips — a flight to Miami to meet with Mexico’s finance minister — cost $43,725.50. A round trip commercial flight would’ve cost just $688, as the Treasury Department’s travel office reminded Mnuchin’s assistant in a note.

Still, that report unearthed no evidence that Mnuchin had broken the law, and Mnuchin has since refused to commit to only using commercial travel for the rest of his tenure at the Trump administration.

His subordinates may also be in trouble for flying on a private jet. On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that the office of the Treasury Department inspector general was looking into a flight taken by Eli Miller, Mnuchin’s chief of staff, who reportedly flew to Palm Beach with a hedge fund billionaire — and major Republican donor — in his private jet.