Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has taken at least 18 flights using taxpayer-funded private jets since taking office.
That’s according to Fox News, which reminded readers that Buttigieg was “an advocate of increased government action to curb carbon emissions.”
The article pointed out that Buttigieg has visited Florida, Ohio and New Hampshire, among other states, and has traveled outside the country via a private jet fleet managed by the Federal Aviation Administration.
“The flight records align with Buttigieg’s schedule of external and public engagements obtained by government watchdog group Americans for Public Trust (APT),” Fox News reported after reviewing flight tracking data.
Oddly — or not — the media in general had shown little interest in the story.
(Perhaps he’s a creature of habit. The Associated Press reported in 2019 during the Democratic presidential primary that Buttigieg “spent roughly $300,000 on private jet travel this year, more than any other Democrat running for the White House.”)
However, if you were to board the way-back machine and travel all the way back to the ancient times of 2017, you would see that Buttigieg’s predecessor, Elaine Chao, who worked in the Trump administration, faced intense media scrutiny after The Washington Post reported that she used the same private jets on seven occasions that year. Even with common core math, 18 is greater than 7.
Chao is also married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), so there’s that, but WaPo did a deep dive into her travel itinerary and Politico reported that her flights cost taxpayers nearly $94,000.
The Post article came a week after Trump-appointed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price had resigned after reportedly taking 26 private jet flights that year, flights that reportedly cost taxpayers about $1.2 million.
Then-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also came under fire in 2017 for using a government plane for a return flight to Washington from New York City, after a meeting with the president in Trump Tower.
“Everyday Americans face flight [cancellations] and long wait times because Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has completely mismanaged air travel,” Americans for Public Trust executive director Caitlin Sutherland told Fox News. “Yet, he gets to avoid all that by taking taxpayer-funded private jets to destinations with readily available commercial airline options.”
“And for someone so holier-than-thou on reducing emissions, Buttigieg sure doesn’t seem to mind the pollution caused by his literal jet-setting,” she continued. “This is hypocrisy at its finest, and these troubling expenses to taxpayers must come under immediate scrutiny.”
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