A leading Democratic congressman wants answers from Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to President Donald Trump, about her traveling on non-commercial flights. The inquest comes as several Trump administration officials have faced scrutiny for taking such flights, including Tom Price, who resigned last Friday as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Representative Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Conway on Wednesday requesting information about her use of private, non-commercial or military flights since she joined the Trump administration, the Democratic arm of his committee announced Wednesday.
Price resigned amid reports about his travel, including one that said his flying on non-commercial planes might have cost taxpayers more than $1 million since May. Prior to his resignation, Price had said in a statement, “I will write a personal check to the U.S. Treasury for the expenses of my travel on private charter planes. The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes." The amount he said he would pay was around $52,000.
Price and Conway had taken flights together, according to Cummings. “Despite the fact that you joined Secretary Price on several of these flights, you have not made any similar public statements indicating whether your own actions were appropriate, whether you will continue to take such flights at taxpayer expense in the future, or whether you plan to personally repay the taxpayers for the costs of your seats on these flights,” he wrote in his letter.
Also on Wednesday, Cummings sent a separate letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Don Wright asking for a copy of the check Price had promised.
Other officials, including Mnuchin, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, are also facing scrutiny because of their use of non-commercial flights.
The White House has pointed out that it approved fewer support mission trips on military planes than the Obama White House did in the first eight months of the administration: 77 now, compared to 94 then.