Sec. of Interior Ryan Zinke addresses travel controversy while speaking at Heritage Foundation. Denies any inappropriate behavior. pic.twitter.com/lCbPILqrGc
— Emerald Robinson (@emeraldrobinson) September 29, 2017
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke isn’t concerned about cabinet secretaries using taxpayer money to fly on private jets, even though he might now be part of the developing controversy.
Last night, reports revealed that Zinke used a private or military plane for travel in at least four instances in recent months. One flight from Las Vegas to Montana was rented through a charter service in June, and it came with a price tag of $12,375.
For the sake of perspective, this news comes after Health Secretary Tom Price announced he would at least partially reimburse the government after spending over $1 million in private flights on the taxpayers’ dime. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have also reportedly flown privately at taxpayer expense, but for now, Price’s expenses have become a leading source of displeasure for President Trump.
Zinke gave a policy speech at the Heritage Foundation today, and he began by addressing the private flight controversy. After saying the news about him was “a little B.S,” Zinke denied any inappropriate expenditures while insisting that his private flights happened during instances where there weren’t any commercial options available for him to keep his schedule:
“Using tax dollars wisely and ethically is a greatest responsibility and is at the heart of good government. And there are times, however we have to utilize charter services because we often travel in areas and under circumstances that we don’t have other fight options.”
[Image via screengrab]
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