The US president had promised his constituents to clean the Augias stables in Washington. However, Hercules does not want and the task seems more difficult than expected: five ministers are pinned for sumptuary public spending.
The exemplary promise promised by Donald Trump barely materialize as five of his ministers are pinned for their dubious use of private jets or renovation expenses deemed excessive. To the point that administrative or parliamentary inquiries were opened.
Four of them, like Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, are millionaires. One in particular claims a superior moral authority, the Housing Secretary, Ben Carson, a fervent Christian who says he was encouraged by God to run for president. There is also a former Barack Obama minister, David Shulkin, at the helm of the huge administration of Veterans Affairs.
“Trump’s ministers accumulate extravagant and extravagant expenses paid by the taxpayer,” said Melanie Sloan, of American Oversight, the NGO that obtained documents and messages on behalf of the government’s transparency law. “With the first class tickets, it seems that the president is not the only one with a penchant for luxury.”
Trump, embarrassed, had set the course for example during his campaign
Donald Trump himself showed that he did not tolerate the excesses of his ministers. He thanked his health secretary in September, Tom Price, another millionaire who had accumulated more than 400,000 dollars (326,000 euros) in spending on board chartered private aircraft.
But the persistence of ethical violations within the team that was supposed to put an end to the old habits of the federal capital arouses a demonic irony. “Let’s dump the backwater!” Promised Donald Trump. But “Trump’s marigot is getting a little deeper each week,” the Democratic Party was quoted as saying in a missive this week.
Ben Carson, Housing Secretary very well housed
The purchases of Ben Carson, brilliant neurosurgeon turned author and politician, are particularly attention due to the change of versions of the Minister. His staff worked hard for months to change furniture in his ministry offices … ultimately buying a long mahogany table, chairs and a buffet for a bill of $ 31,000 (25,000 euros); well beyond the $ 5,000 (4,000 euros) ceiling set by law.
But the messages obtained by American Oversight show that, contrary to the first statements of Ben Carson, he and his wife sponsored the purchase, Ms. Carson has actively participated in the selection of articles. A committee of the House of Representatives has opened an investigation.
Two other ministers are also accused of excessive spending: Ryan Zinke (Interior), whose renovation of three large doors cost at least 75,000 dollars (61,000 euros); and Scott Pruitt (Environment), who had a soundproof room installed to make calls for $ 43,000 (35,000 euros).
Zinke, Pruitt, Mnuchin and Shulkin do not fly like everyone else …
As for aircraft expenses, federal regulations are very strict: ministers can charter a private plane only if regular flights are not available. Steven Mnuchin’s trips aboard military planes have cost more than a million dollars (813,000 euros) between spring and autumn 2017, revealed this week the organization CREW, after suing the Treasury for obtain the documents. One of these trips, made with his wife, was at Fort Knox, from which a rare solar eclipse was visible. “The public still has not received a reasonable explanation for the fact that Secretary Mnuchin apparently never traveled on regular lines, unlike his predecessors, or that he needed 120-seat military planes” ,
— RT France (@RTenfrancais) March 11, 2018
Also pinned for flights, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has defended any mismanagement, saying that every trip was necessary. But the inspector general of his department opened an investigation. Scott Pruitt, administrator of the environmental protection agency, has promised to travel less first class, after some troublesome revelations.
As for David Shulkin, who was one of the most conspiratorial figures in the Trump “cabinet”, he was exhausted by an internal investigation report accusing him of having his wife traveled at taxpayer expense during a moving to Europe last year. An employee, on his working time, had arranged multiple personal visits for the couple in London and Copenhagen, and the minister broke the rules on gifts by accepting tickets for the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Although he has promised to repay, President Trump would now consider replacing him, according to several media.