The price tag for HHS Secretary Tom Price’s travel continues to rise. Politico reported late Thursday that Price took military jets for overseas trips, bringing the total cost of his travel since May to a whopping $1 million. Price on Thursday pledged to repay for the cost of the trips — but an HHS spokesperson told TPM that the health secretary will repay about $50,000, which is the cost of only his seat on those trips. President Trump is not happy about the ordeal. He told reporters this week that “we’ll see” whether Price continues to serve in the administration. Price, for his part, said Thursday that he believes he still has the President’s confidence. A number of investigations have been launched into the private travel, including by the HHS inspector general and the House Oversight Committee. The White House said Thursday that it will launch its own review, as well as halt all private jet use for HHS.
And Price isn’t the only Trump administration official to have taken private planes as a government official. At least three others have, too: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The investigations and reviews into Price’s private travel have just begun. And the question remains: how many more trips will come to light? And if the drip, drip, drip of more information continues, can Tom Price keep his job?
Vice President Mike Pence said he is headed to flood-ravaged Texas this week.
Pence announced the planned trip Tuesday in an interview with Corpus Christi, Texas radio station KKTX.
“My wife and I will be in southeast Texas later this week, and we’re going to continue to provide all of the resources necessary to advance the efforts to rescue people that are enduring this storm,” Pence said. “And also we’ll be with you through the long, long recovery that awaits Texas.”
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were traveling to Texas on Tuesday to receive an update on the disaster response to Hurricane Harvey, which has dumped rain on Houston and the surrounding area. Some parts of Texas could see up to 50 inches of rain.
President Donald Trump is expected to speak Monday afternoon at the White House, amid fierce criticism that the President failed to condemn white supremacists and neo Nazis at a rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.
Reuters’ Jeff Mason tweeted a photo of a lectern set up at the White House:
The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.
Reporter Ben Jacobs said a candidate for Congress in Montana “body slammed” him during an interview Wednesday, a day before a special election in the state.
The incident apparently occurred after Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, asked GOP candidate Greg Gianforte about the Congressional Budget Office’s newly released appraisal of House Republicans’ health care bill.
A rustling noise could be heard on an audio recording of the incident, after which Gianforte apparently told Jacobs, “I’m a sick and tired of you guys.” He added: “Get the hell out of here.”
“You just body slammed me and broke my glasses,” Jacobs said, sounding stunned.
Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses
“He took me to the ground,” Jacobs told The Guardian, which reported that he was speaking from the back of an ambulance. “This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”
The paper reported that Jacobs alerted the authorities to the incident. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office said it was “currently investigating allegations of an assault,” according to Politico.
Gallatin County Sheriff's Office now updates: "currently investigating allegations of an assault involving Greg Gianforte."
The Gianforte campaign said Jacobs asked “badgering questions” and interrupted a separate interview.
“After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ,” Gianforte spokesman Shane Scanlon said in a statement, according to Politico.
President Trump early Tuesday admitted that he shared “facts” with Russian officials, a day after the Washington Post and others reported that the President passed on highly classified info to the Russian foreign minister and Russia’s ambassador to U.S. during a meeting in the Oval Office.
Trump said he had the “absolute right” to share the information.
As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining….
During the Oval Office meeting last week — which occurred amid the fallout over the President’s firing of FBI Director James Comey — Trump reportedly shared information about an ISIS threat, that was obtained from an American intelligence partner, according to the Washington Post.