Another Trump Administration cabinet member has come under investigation for his use of private planes, according to Reuters.
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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s use of private planes is under investigation by the Office of the Inspector General. The federal office opened an investigation after receiving “numerous” complaints about Zinke’s travel as Secretary of the Interior.
That includes a June flight on a plane owned by oil and gas executives for which taxpayers were billed over $12,000 and flights to the Virgin Islands.
Zinke has called the charges “a little B.S.” and says the flights took place after “department officials determined no other flights were available.” “I follow the law,” Zinke told the crowd at a speech to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, the morning after the news broke.
In his capacity as Secretary of the Interior, Zinke and his agency is responsible for regulating use of protected federal land by companies and individuals exploring and extracting natural resources. Just this summer, Zinke approved new approval processes for drilling on federal land that promised to make it easier and faster, shortening the approval process from an average of over 200 days to just 30.
Health and Human Services department secretary Tom Price resigned last week over his use of chartered planes. Price booked at least five flights at over $10,000 each, a move that President Donald Trump said he was “not happy” about.