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Center for American Progress

RELEASE: CAP Analysis Details Wasteful Spending by President Trump’s Cabinet
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Analysis Details Wasteful Spending by President Trump’s Cabinet

Washington, D.C. — As the first anniversary of President Donald Trump taking office approaches, the Center for American Progress has a new analysis that looks at the sordid pattern of wasteful and extravagant spending by members of his Cabinet.

Based on public information to date, the Cabinet has spent nearly $2 million on wasteful and legally questionable expenses, including private and military plane flights and private office upgrades, the analysis finds.

Perhaps the most notable offender was former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, who was forced to resign after spending more than $1 million on chartered and military flights. But Price is not alone in his lack of respect for taxpayer funds. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has also raised concerns by taking a number of chartered flights that cost taxpayers more than $58,000.

Even more bizarre, Pruitt spent nearly $25,000 to create a so-called privacy booth in his office, part of his obsession with secrecy. And similar concerns have been raised about the spending habits of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Such extravagant and questionable spending comes as many of these officials have backed devastating cuts to services that millions of Americans depend on. The analysis notes that the culture of corruption in the Trump administration can be combatted in several ways. Both the president and vice president should be subject to more extensive financial disclosures. And more needs to be done to reduce the influence of corporations and wealthy donors in Congress. Finally, distortions in the political process would be reduced through more effective campaign finance disclosures and the closing of dark-money loopholes.

Read the analysis: “The Cost of Corruption: Waste and Abuse in President Trump’s Cabinet” by Sam Berger and Gwen Calais-Haase.

For more information or to speak to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at 202-478-6327 or [email protected].