(SEE UPDATE BELOW)
Tom Price has agreed to reimburse the federal government for a small portion of his private jet flights. Of the $400,000 or so spent, he'll pay back $51,000. He would like everyone but most especially Fox News viewers to know that he's sorry about spending taxpayers' money so foolishly but not really that sorry. In fact he feels completely justified in doing it but he's still sorry he got caught and embarrassed Dear Leader.
Price went on Bret Baier's show to do a softball interview in order to restore the confidence of Trumpists around the country, who only get their news from Fox 'News.'
And then he defended his decision to fritter away nearly half a million bucks of taxpayer money. Sorry, not sorry!!!
When Baier asked Price about his statement released earlier apologizing and saying he'd write a check to reimburse, Price defaulted right to the "It was totally fine for me to do this" stance.
"I think the important point, these trips were official business and within budget and approved by the normal processes every other administration has gone through," he insisted.
But Price did allow that he could see where some folks ccould be concerned about him spending upwards of $400,000 while telling the rest of us to die because our healthcare is so terribly, awfully expensive.
"I have heard the criticisms," he said. "In order to make certain people appreciate my respect for the taxpayer is as strong as it can be and always has been in my 40 year career, we think it's important to..say there will be no private air charters at HHS going forward. Second is to cooperate fully with the inspector general, and finally to pay for my portion of those trips."
Um, okay. I'm curious as to which "certain people" he's referring to, but okay. All good so far, right.
But...SORRY NOT SORRY.
Patting himself on the back, he continued, "This is unprecedented, never been done, to our understanding, before by a Secretary in spite of the fact that previous administrations had secretaries that flew an awful lot."
Poor persecuted Tom Price.
Baier pressed him on his claim that taxpayers won't "pay a dime" for his seat on those planes, noting that he is paying around $51,000 on a $400,000 tab.
Let the sorry not sorry dance begin! This time, it's all about the Inspector General doing a review, and how he doesn't really need to write a bigger check until said review is done because in the end, the only thing that guy is going to pay for is the extra trips he took to have lunch with his son and maybe the trip to Aspen Ideas. The rest of it is all going to be charged back to taxpayers as official business because Tom Price is a corrupt old codger who wants to live the high life.
Take, for example, his dodge when Bret Baier asks him what he was thinking? What was he thinking? Well, these trips were approved! His butt was covered! He got to look like the big guy with the private jet! He liked that!
This was a softball interview, clearly intended to exact a tiny ounce of flesh while telling Trumpers that really it was fine because it was all approved ahead of time. Tom Price isn't a bad guy. Tom Price isn't corrupt. He's just a hardworking public servant who was gallivanting all over the country on private jets because he could.
After all, it was approved.
UPDATE: Oh look, the tab is up to $900,000 now, with the news that Price spent $500,000 on military jets.
The White House approved the use of military aircraft for multi-national trips by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to Africa and Europe this spring, and to Asia in the summer, at a cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayers.
Price’s wife, Betty, accompanied him on the military flights, while other members of the secretary’s delegation flew commercially to Europe.