President Donald Trump’s embattled health minister was forced to leave the US administration Friday, amid a scandal over his use of costly private jets for government travel.
“Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the President accepted,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Trump had earlier in the day said he would decide Price’s fate later on Friday, amid a scandal over his use of costly private jets for government travel.
“We’ll be announcing something today,” Trump said, “I don’t like the optics.” He added: “I’m not happy, I can tell you I’m not happy.”
In all, Tom Price has flown on 26 separate trips this year on private aircraft, totaling some $400,000, according to Politico.
He had tried to put a lid on the scandal by paying back what turned out to be a fraction of the cash spent.
Trump described the former congressman as “a very fine person,” adding that for some cabinet secretaries it was not a problem because they have their own planes.
Price’s resignation as head of the Department of Health and Human Services comes amid an internal probe.
The trips were for government business, Price’s department said, but some of the flights were to destinations where Price owns property, or where he met relatives.
Other cabinet secretaries, including Treasury’s Steve Mnuchin are also accused of using private jets.