Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price might have thought he found a soft spot for his first TV interview since reports of his taking more than $400,000 in private flights at taxpayer expense since May.
He thought wrong.
Appearing on Special Report Thursday, the HHS Secretary was grilled by Bret Baier over the massive expense. Baier questioned why Price only plans to reimburse taxpayers to the tune of $51,887 when the flights cost eight times that amount.
“You say in a statement the taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes,” Baier said. “You are writing a check, we understand, $51,887. The total cost is estimated at more than $400,000 for the 26 flights since May.
“Is that okay?”
“There is an ongoing review being done by the inspector general,” Price said. “I think it’s important to wait for that.”
The Special Report host went on to press the HHS secretary over some of the more particularly obscene expenses.
“What were you thinking at those moments?” Baier said. “I mean, some of these fights clearly were to places that had commercial air possibilities. There’s one flight to Philadelphia, that you drive 45 minutes to Dulles, you get on a private flight to fly to Philadelphia for $25,000. You take Amtrak here, you could be there in an hour and half for about a hundred bucks.”
“That particular trip, we had a meeting on the hurricanes that I needed to be at, and we had a meeting in the afternoon at the White House,” Price said, trying to defend his travel. “These trips were approved through the normal process. So it was deemed appropriate and that was the necessary way to make my other obligations within the department.”
Kudos to Baier for asking the tough questions and not letting Price off the hook. He might not have gotten the answers, but he definitely had Price on the defensive throughout.
Watch above, via Fox News.
[featured image via screengrab]
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