Tom Price is skating on thin ice, and the air is only getting warmer.
President Donald Trump is extremely “unhappy” with Tom Price right now after it came to light that Price has repeatedly used a private jet for official travel, on the taxpayer’s dime. Many times, the flights crossed the lines into his personal life, which included lunch with his son. Tsk, tsk.
On Wednesday Trump said, “I am not happy about it. I’m going to look at it. I am not happy about it, and I let him know it.”
He did not rule out firing Price either, which shows us that it is very possible that Price will soon be the next eliminated player. “We’ll see,” was Trump’s response when asked if he was going to fire Price.
So far, when Trump is fed up with someone, he won’t straight out say it, but he also won’t confirm whether he plans to fire them or not. So it appears it is only a matter of time before Price resigns, or is fired.
Asked about Trump’s comments, Caitlin Oakley, an HHS spokesperson, pointed to Price’s comments on Saturday about the flights.
“As it relates to this issue, as the Secretary said over the weekend, he’s heard the criticism and the concerns. He takes that very seriously and has taken it to heart,” she said.
At the same time, she said, Price and the department continue to work “day and night” on challenges like the opioid epidemic and hurricanes.
Price’s ability to weather the storm could be hurt by the GOP’s failure this week to pass legislation repealing ObamaCare. In July, Trump joked about firing Price if he couldn’t get the votes for repeal.
“He better get them, otherwise I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired,’ ” Trump said.
Adding to the pressure on Price, the leaders of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday said they would investigate private jet travel by all Cabinet members.
Price, a former congressman from Georgia, is not the first Trump Cabinet official to draw the president’s ire.
Trump over the summer publicly dressed down Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling him “beleaguered,” after his decision to recuse himself from the federal investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.
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