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Tom Price

HHS Secretary Tom Price has resigned over a travel scandal


Updated September 29, 2017 04:53 PM EDT

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has resigned his post in the Trump administration over revelations that he had been using taxpayer money to charter private planes to conduct official government business.

A statement from the White House Office of the Press Secretary said that Don Wright, who serves as the deputy assistant secretary for health and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, will serve as acting secretary.

President Donald Trump has recognized the conflict of promising his supporters that he would "drain the swamp" while at the same time employing a man who spent $400,000 of taxpayer money on private planes while conducting government business.

To that end, Trump has been telling his associates that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has become a distraction, overshadowing the president's campaign promises and distracting from his agenda.

Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday that he is "disappointed" in Price's behavior, adding "I certainly don't like the optics."

According to anonymous sources close to the President, Trump has become frustrated with the constant stream of headlines about Price's travel. He also has been saying that he believes the HHS secretary didn't do enough to sell the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. Trump has joked about firing Price before, as he does with many other underlings in the Executive Branch, but has not indicated whether he is serious about letting the secretary go.

"We'll be announcing something today," Trump said when asked about whether Price will keep his job in the administration. "I can tell you, I'm not happy."

The brouhaha surrounding Price's travel has galvanized committee's on Capitol Hill to begin investigating the travel habits of other senior officials in the federal government.

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