After he was caught bilking taxpayers to the tune of around a million dollars in needless private chartered flights, HHS Secretary Tom Price has resigned. His resignation came in a Friday evening news dump, as Donald Trump and his administration tried to minimize the impact of the scandalous news. But three other Trump cabinet members are on the verge of following Price out the door.
Tom Price was left with no choice but to resign when it became clear that the media and the public weren’t going to simply let his scandalous behavior fade away and be forgotten. Trump himself has been pocketing taxpayer money in a number of bizarre ways, including charging Secret Service agents for golf cart rentals at his properties, but those financial scandals haven’t yet caused the public to draw the line. However, Price made the mistake of committing a more well-established kind of financial fraud, one which the public immediately understood to be wrong, and refused to swallow. Trump’s problem is that multiple other members of his cabinet have now been exposed as having committed the same financial fraud as Price.
Donald Trump’s EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has also been caught needlessly taking an expensive private flight on the taxpayer dime (link). Interior Ryan Zinke has done the same (link). Trump’s VA Secretary David Shuklin took a trip to Wimbledon and took a river cruise on the taxpayer dime (link). Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took a taxpayer funded flight to Fort Knox to watch the eclipse (link). These are just the ones who have been caught thus far.
With the mainstream American public having decided that Tom Price’s behavior was unacceptable and that he had to go, there is every reason to believe that the other four cabinet members who have been caught doing similar behavior will also end up being forced out. Donald Trump has already lost more cabinet members to scandal in eight months (one) than President Obama lost in eight years (zero). Trump is on the verge of losing four more.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report