Trump Family and Administration Members Spending Millions on 'Extravagant' Private Travel


Top House Democrats are calling for hearings on whether the Trump administration has “adequate controls” to protect taxpayer money in light of recent “extravagant air travel” by cabinet members.

Related: Melania Trump’s Flights Cost Taxpayers More Than $675,000 Before She Moved to White House, Report Says

In a letter Tuesday to Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, who is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Democratic congressmen Elijah Cummings and Raja Krishnamoorthi pointed out two Trump cabinet members as the latest examples of “questionable and expensive travel at the taxpayer expense.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spent nearly $1 million on eight trips on military aircraft between spring and fall 2017, while Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s flight to a summit in Italy cost more than $120,000, the letter cited.

“The extensive use of noncommercial aircraft by multiple members of the Trump Administration is disrespectful to the American taxpayers who foot the bill for these expenses,” the letter states. “It is unacceptable that the White House and several agencies have refused to provide our Committee with the documents we need to conduct our oversight responsibilities.”

“There clearly seems to be a pattern within this administration of officials opting for more expensive, private travel,” Jordan Libowitz, spokesman for the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which reported Mnuchin’s spending, told Newsweek. “Congress absolutely should be investigating that kind of thing.”

The letter comes less than two months after the conservative legal group Judicial Watch released a report showing that Trump and his family’s travel costs are on pace to meet or exceed those of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Trump and his family have spent at least $13.5 million on political and leisure trips as of February 9, according to Judicial Watch, which has uncovered $114.6 million worth of Obama and his family’s travel costs.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek on Tuesday.



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