The Trump Administration finds itself increasingly on the defensive over private travel by Cabinet officials. The revelation that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price took more than a dozen flights on privately chartered jets put his job in jeopardy and his boss into damage control mode. But Price is not the only member of president’s team in hot water, and the Cabinet’s high-flying ways point to a culture of extravagance at the highest levels of the Trump Administration—often racked up on the people’s credit card. Trump is upset with Price and may fire him for the offense, officials said.
Neil Gorsuch is acting like a veteran justice. The U.S. responds after diplomats fall ill in Cuba. And the administration’s Puerto Rico message problem.
Here are your must reads:
Beyond the Daily Drama and Twitter Battles, Trump Begins to Alter American Life
The unpublicized impact of his administration [Reuters]
Neil Gorsuch Is Already Acting Like He’s Been on the Supreme Court for Years
TIME’s Tessa Berenson on the new Justice before the start of the term
US Cuts Embassy Staff, Urges No Travel to Cuba
After diplomats fall ill [Associated Press]
Price Took Military Jets to Europe, Asia for Over $500K
Accompanied by his wife, the HHS secretary journeyed to Geneva, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo and other cities for events.
Twitter Finds Hundreds of Accounts Tied to Russian Operatives
But lawmakers are frustrated with the company’s response [Washington Post]
Republican Tax Plan Quickly Hits First Hurdle
GOP lawmakers from high-tax states oppose repealing individual deduction for state and local taxes [Wall Street Journal]
“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.” — Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, superintendent of the Air Force Academy, in a speech on the power of diversity
“Dammit, this is not a good news story. This is a people are dying story.” — San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz responding to Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke’s characterization of the hurricane response effort
Bits and Bites
Tom Price Apologizes After Using Taxpayer Money for Private Jet Flights [Associated Press]
Deportations slow under Trump despite increase in arrests by ICE [Washington Post]
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: GOP Tax Plan Would More Than Offset Its Cost [Wall Street Journal]