On Thursday, after days of speculation that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price might get fired for chartering $400,000 worth of private jets on the government’s dime, the HHS secretary revealed that he would be writing a check to the Treasury to cover the costs.
As CNN’s Jake Tapper noted, however, Price did not immediately clarify whether he’d be paying the full price of the charter flights or for “his seats,” as the HHS statement claimed. As the host noted, the statement appeared to be misleading.
“Is he just going to do what a lot of politicians do, which is pay for the equivalent of a business class seat on a commercial flight which is really just a fraction of what the taxpayers paid for?” Tapper asked CNN’s government regulation correspondent Rene Marsh.
Indeed, subsequent reports revealed that Price will only cut a check for $51,887.31 of the over $400,000 cost of planes he chartered.
“Taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat,” Price’s statement read.
“Many times [elected officials] travel with staff,” Marsh said, “so it’s not just about his seat but the other people who traveled with him.”
Watch Tapper and Marsh discuss Price’s misleading statement below, via CNN.