Price’s future in serious jeopardy – Politico

Tom Price’s future in the Trump administration was in serious jeopardy on Friday, despite the Health and Human Services secretary’s last-ditch efforts to save his job, according to administration officials.

One day after Price announced plans to refund taxpayers for a portion of the cost of his private jet travel, President Donald Trump is still fuming, annoyed by the parade of negative headlines documenting the secretary’s lavish spending.

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The president increasingly believes that Price is becoming a distraction from his agenda, three officials said. Trump has complained that allegations the secretary is wasting taxpayer dollars tarnish the administration’s efforts to impose a conservative mindset on the federal government.

Asked by reporters Friday whether he’ll fire Price, Trump said, “He’s a fine man, we’re going to make a decision tonight.”

Trump also said that Price has not offered to resign. “No, but we’ll see what happens later on,” he told reporters.

Some White House officials were pessimistic about Price’s chances.

Trump has publicly rebuked Price and declined to reassure him that his job is safe. Both the HHS inspector general and the House Oversight Committee are investigating Price’s travel.

Price announced Thursday that he would reimburse the federal government for the cost of his seat on the domestic flights, a figure that reportedly totals nearly $52,000 — just a fraction of the total cost of the trips.

Other members of Trump’s Cabinet have also come under criticism for their use of military and private aircraft, including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Tara Palmeri contributed to this report.

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