Government

Hypocrisy in the Trump Administration?

Kushner used private email! Price used private jets! Not great behavior, but not the same as Democrats.

Nate Jackson · Sep. 30, 2017
Trump and Price

Hypocrisy is always one of the traits of the Left, and that’s why it stings a little worse when Republicans are the guilty ones. Two incidents have been making the rounds among Leftmedia outlets eager to highlight Trump administration faux pas — Jared Kushner’s private email and Tom Price’s lavish travel expenditures.

Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and close adviser, has used a private email account for official business, as have at least five other administration officials. One outside observer called it the “height of hypocrisy.” That would be Hillary Clinton, who is not in the White House in large part because of her own illegal use of private email to send and classified information. Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, who also used a private email address on occasion, also did not delete tens of thousands of emails so thoroughly as to defeat all recovery efforts, nor are they cabinet officials. So until or unless something further is discovered, this is a big case of “nothing to see here.”

The second story had greater consequences. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price apologized Thursday and resigned Friday for his habitual use of private jets to travel the country, and promised he’ll make some reimbursements. Price’s reimbursement offer, however, doesn’t come close to covering the cost. He’s offering $51,887 to pay back for his seat only, out of a nearly $400,000 tab for taxpayers, not counting an additional $500,000 for international flights on military aircraft. That doesn’t cut it.

“He’s a very fine man,” Trump said early Friday. “I certainly don’t like the optics. I’m not happy, I can tell you that. I’m not happy.”

Price’s pricey travel might have been worth it had he succeeded in helping to shepherd through repealing ObamaCare. But he didn’t. Worse, he’s been a champion for fiscal restraint and budget cuts. Now he’s gone.

Then again, as Tony Perkins argues, “Knowing Tom Price as I have, there’s no doubt in my mind that he meticulously followed every rule. The department’s legal team would have been consulted before he stepped foot on these charters. In the end, though, this isn’t about Secretary Price’s ethics, it’s about trying to discredit one of the most effective social conservatives in Washington.” Evidently, it worked.

Of course, it’s also worth noting that Price’s travel cost $900,000; Barack Obama’s lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous cost taxpayers $105,662,975.

What matters with both of these stories, then, is not that the Trump administration is “just as bad” as the Obama administration. It’s that Republicans ought to be above reproach. Because they weren’t, Trump is going to be looking for a new HHS secretary.

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