Trump may be mad at Price but it isn't because he hates "waste"
So fiscal conservative HHS secretary Tom Price gouged the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars using private planes to fly around the country like he's Donald Trump or something. He may not last. Trump said he wasn't happy about it.
But that's not why he won't last. Trump was lying. He is mad at Price but not because of the travel. That's just and excuse for him to go, if he does.
This is why Trump is mad at him:
Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price is, to put it mildly, not having a great week. The failure of Republicans' repeal-and-replace effort, coupled with the ongoing reporting about the private flights he took on taxpayers' dime, has weakened his stature within the Trump administration.
A source who has watched President Trump and Price interact at length told my colleague Jonathan Swan that Price burned his credibility when health care failed to get across the finish line in Congress.
Early in the administration, Trump, House and Senate leaders, Price and then-chief of staff Reince Priebus met in the Roosevelt Room to discuss health care. Trump asked whether a deal would pass, and both Priebus and Price emphatically said "yes."
The two have never really gelled, Swan's sources tell him. Price is wonky, and Trump seems to endure their meetings more than enjoy them.
So, it's really that Price failed to give Trump his repeal bill like he promised. And I would guess that
I'm hearing major NY Times reporters say that the president really hates waste and he won't stand for it. I'm sure he likes that very much. And others are saying that this doesn't present the image Trump wants to present of a populist leader of working people and the striving middle class. One of them even mentioned that he gives up his yearly salary.
That would be Trump, the guy who has a gold plated apartment in a gold plated tower in the middle of Manhattan, is married to a super model and travels at taxpayer expense every week-end to one of his many golf resorts for which he pockets the cash from every member. That would be the president who refused to release his tax returns or divest himself of his international business which is going strong selling the name of the president of the United States all over the world.
This would be the man who was still doing deal with Russia as he ran for president of the United States.
That's the guy these elite reporters are telling is worried about his "populist" image because he "doesn't like waste."