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How Much The Trump Administration Is Spending On Travel Is Pissing Off Taxpayers

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After being called out by the Washington Post and Politico for spending more than $1 million in taxpayer funds jetting around the country on private planes, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned last week. But Price wasn't doing anything that unusual, at least by today's standards. Now it's time to take a look at how much the Trump administration is spending on travel, because Trump's Cabinet is staffed with a gaggle of billionaires, and apparently people who were raised on caviar don't like flying JetBlue.

Price's expensive taste is just part of the culture of the Trump administration, and he's far from the only member of the Cabinet who's been chartering private planes or hitching rides on military jets when a commercial flight was available. Now, several others in the administration are under investigation, and as official reports become available, the public is able to see just how badly the nation's funds are being managed. Federal employees are supposed to take commercial flights whenever possible, but many in the Trump administration seem to have a very loose understanding of that policy, and the White House has been approving private flights for all sorts of specious reasons. After Price's flight tab was made public, Trump commented publicly that he was "not happy" about it. Here are a few more people for him to be unhappy with:

Steve Mnuchin: $811,800

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin racked up more than $800,000 on just seven trips, according to CNN. A Treasury investigation "found no evidence of wrongdoing," as the White House had signed off on the trips, but warned the administration that it needed to tighten up the criteria for allowing such trips in the future. Mnuchin justified the use of government planes by citing "scheduling, logistics, and secure communications needs," and the preposterously vague "potential for developments during travel related to a number of issues."

The investigation was spurred by an Instagram feud between Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, and a concerned citizen who called her out for bragging about her designer clothes while exiting a military plane in Kentucky. "Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol," Linton posted in reply, according to Vanity Fair. It turns out that Mnuchin actually did request a government plane for his honeymoon, citing the need for secure communication. The White House said he didn't need a plane for that, and he withdrew the request.

Scott Pruitt: $60,363.59

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt took four private flights between June and August, according to CBS News. In June, he flew from Cincinnati to New York to Andrews Air Force Base on an Air Force jet, costing more than $36,000. In July, he flew between three cities within Oklahoma, costing taxpayers over $14,000. In August, he took a nearly $6,000 flight from Denver to Durango, Colorado, and also flew on North Dakota's state aircraft, which cost another $2,000.

Elaine Chao: Tens of Thousands, & Counting

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As Transportation Secretary, Chao should be setting the example for the rest of Trump's Cabinet when in comes to transportation, and it looks like she is; just not a good example. In her role, Chao has access to a taxpayer-funded fleet of Cessna business jets that the Federal Aviation Administration charges nearly $5,000 an hour to fly, according to the Washington Post. She's taken seven trips on the jets so far, including two flights to Europe. Her 11-hour return flight from Italy alone was worth almost $37,000.

David Shulkin: Under Investigation

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The Veterans Affairs inspector general is currently investigating a 10-day taxpayer-funded European vacation Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and his wife, Merle Bari, took in July, according to CBS News. The Washington Post previously reported that the pair attended Wimbledon and took a cruise on the Thames during their trip, and incredibly, Bari even received a per-diem that may have cost up to $3,600.

Mike Pence: $200,000 For A Single Stunt

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On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence traveled halfway across the country and back, seemingly for the express purpose of calling attention to Trump's petty feud with the NFL. Pence flew from Las Vegas to Indianapolis, where reporters were told to wait outside the Colts' stadium because Pence would be leaving the game early, according to MarketWatch. Pence walked out during the National Anthem, when a number of players knelt. He then flew to California. The estimated cost of both flights is well over $200,000, and that doesn't account for other costs incurred by Pence and his staff, such as hotels and rental cars.

The Trump Family: Hundreds Of Thousands

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Even without airfare, other travel-related costs relating to Trump's family are still astronomical. When Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner took their kids skiing in April, the cost for the Secret Service alone was over $66,000, according to NBC News, and when Eric Trump went on a business trip for the Trump Organization, taxpayers covered the hotel costs for his detail, which the Washington Post reported came to nearly $100,000.

Trump Himself: Millions & Millions

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Ironically, considering the fact that Trump often criticized President Obama for his comparatively rare trips, the current president has spent about one-quarter of his term on vacation thus far. In April, CNN estimated that the total cost of Trump's first six weekend trips to Florida cost $21.6 million dollars, and was on track to outspend eight years of Obama's travel in a single year. Obama spent less than $97 million on travel during his two terms. By comparison, if Trump were to keep visiting his golf resort on the taxpayers' dime for two full terms (knock on wood), that would end up costing nearly $700 million (If you multiply three months' worth of vacations at $21.6 million by four, to equal the price of one year's vacations at that rate. Then multiply that number by eight, for eight years in office.)

Overspending is an integral part of the Trump administration's culture, and Price's resignation doesn't make much of a difference when the entire White House and their assorted family members are still bleeding the government (meaning, taxpayers) dry.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that if Trump were to keep visiting his golf resort on the taxpayers' dime for two full terms, it would end up costing $7 million. That was a typo and the number is actually $700 million. Romper regrets the error.

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