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U.S. health secretary Tom Price resigns amid private plane scandal

Click to play video: 'Tom Price resigns amid private flights scandal' Tom Price resigns amid private flights scandal
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is out of a job. President Trump said he wasn't happy about Price's use of taxypayer dollars for private flights. In his resignation letter, Secretary Price said he regretted that his actions caused a "distraction." – Sep 29, 2017

Tom Price, the U.S. health and human services secretary, has resigned on Friday the White House said.

The announcement came after President Donald Trump had repeatedly said he was “not happy” with Price for using private, chartered planes for government business.

READ MORE: Here are the cast-offs of year 1 of the Trump administration

In a statement from the White House, Trump named deputy assistant health secretary Don J. Wright to be acting health secretary.

WATCH: Tom Price resigns shortly after Trump says he’s ‘not happy’ over scandal

Click to play video: 'Tom Price resigns shortly after Trump says he’s ‘not happy’ over scandal' Tom Price resigns shortly after Trump says he’s ‘not happy’ over scandal
Tom Price resigns shortly after Trump says he’s ‘not happy’ over scandal – Sep 29, 2017

Price’s scandal emerged earlier this month, when it was revealed that he took a charter plane instead of commercial flights.

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On Thursday, he vowed to pay back US$51,887.31 to the taxpayers – which is related to to 10 trips with 26 different segments.

“The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes.”

READ MORE: Health Secretary Tom Price vows to repay taxpayers over $50k for flight expenses

But that wasn’t enough for the president, who only responded to questions about Price’s future with a “We’ll see.”

Washington news media outlet Politico has reported that Price had taken at least two dozen private charter flights since May at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of more than $400,000.

Price had also been seen in the White House as having been ineffective in getting Congress to pass healthcare reform legislation, an effort that has fizzled on Capitol Hill.

Price isn’t the only Trump official whose travel is under scrutiny. Trips by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt have also drawn criticism.

READ MORE: U.S. treasury secretary tried to use a government plane for his honeymoon

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The Washington Post reported on Friday that Veterans Affairs secretary David Shulkin also had questionable travel expenses as he brought his wife on a cruise while on a 10-day trip to discuss veterans’ issues in Britain.

*With files from Reuters and the Associated Press

 

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