Transcript for HHS secretary promises to reimburse the cost of his seat on pricey flights taken on taxpayers’ dime
And we begin with that rare and public apology late today to the American taxpayers. Tom price apologizing for spending moneys of thousands of dollars on luxury flights. It was just 24 hours ago when president trump was asked if price would keep his job. He answered, “We’ll see.” And it’s not just price under scrutiny tonight. EPA chief Scot Pruitt under fire for spending $58,000 on charter flights and government planes. And bidding a $25,000 phone booth in his office. And treasury secretary Steve mnuchin who requested a government plane for his overseas honeymoon. Tonight, even leading Republicans on capitol hill are now demanding an investigation. ABC’s senior white house correspondent Cecilia Vega leading us off. Reporter: Tonight, a top senate Republican is demanding answers, asking why president trump’s cabinet secretaries are flying on private jets and government planes on the taxpayers’ dime. It comes as health secretary Tom price is now apologizing for taking more than two dozen work trips on luxury jets. After being on the defensive for days — We heard the criticism, we heard the concerns and take that very seriously. Reporter: Tonight, in his statement, price admits, “I was not sensitive enough to my concern for the taxpayer, and the taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes.” But price spent more than $400,000 in taxpayer money on those flights, and it turns out he’s only reimbursing the government for the cost of his own seat — $51,887.31. Price is a multi-millionaire and his job is now on the line. Would you fire him, sir? We’ll see. Reporter: It’s not just price. Three members of the president’s cabinet under fire for expensive travel. EPA director Scott priutt facing new questions about $58,000 worth of flights on a chartered jet and government planes, not to mention his frequent taxpayer-funded trips home to Oklahoma. Treasury secretary Steve mnuchin also accused of taking costly government jets over commercial flights, like that trip to Kentucky with his wife, where they viewed the eclipse. In all, at least $610,000 in trips by president trump’s cabinet, now under scrutiny. And today, the white house under fire, too. To be clear, also, the white house does not have a role on the front end of approving private charter flights at the agencies, and that’s something that we’re certainly looking into. And Cecilia Vega joining us tonight from our studio back in New York. And Cecilia, one top Republican is now delivering a stern warning to president trump? Reporter: Exactly, David. The powerful chairman, chuck grassley, wrote a letter to the president, saying I’m urging you to emphasize to cabinet secretaries the necessity of
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