CNN’s “Early Start” provided some much-needed context for Trump administration Cabinet members traveling on private jets, a practice that recently came under scrutiny after it was reported that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt all used taxpayer money to fly on luxury planes when, in most cases, commercial flights were available.
From the day of Trump’s inauguration to September 19 Trump administration Cabinet officials took a combined total of 77 military flights, according to CNN. But in one damning image for the Obama administration, the cable network contrasted the number of military flights that Trump Cabinet officials have taken with the number their Obama administration counterparts took throughout the same period in 2009.
Military flights are different from private charter flights, but both underscore administration officials’ willingness to unnecessarily spend taxpayer money lavishly on travel arrangements.
Not surprisingly, the number of private flights taken by Obama Cabinet officials was considerably more than the number of private flights chartered by Trump Cabinet officials. For all the “fake news” criticism Trump, members of his administration and the president’s supporters frequently give CNN, they have to admit CNN played this straight.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to differentiate between privately chartered flights and military flights.