President Trump sternly reprimanded Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price just hours before Price resigned from his post.
Trump spent two hours on Friday chastising Price in the Oval Office for his use of private and military aircraft the past few months, which cost taxpayers approximately $1 million, people familiar with the meeting told the New York Times.
"I have spent 40 years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first," Price wrote. "I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from these important objectives. Success on these issues is more important than any one person. In order for you to move forward without further disruption, I am officially tendering my resignation."
Price said previously that he will reimburse the government the cost of his seat on the flights — totaling approximately $52,000.
The Trump administration already appears to be making adjustments to avoid further air travel controversies. In a letter sent out to heads of federal agencies by Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, he said some top administration officials will now require prior approval from White House chief of staff John Kelly to travel on government-owned, rented, leased, or chartered aircraft.
Price was just one of several Cabinet officials facing scrutiny over their use of private or military aircraft to travel instead of commercial flights, a list which also includes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.