Washington Post: Interior secretary spoke at Lake Tahoe before taking chartered flight
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spoke to a conservative legal group at Lake Tahoe days before chartering a plane owned by oil-and-gas executives, according to reporting by the Washington Post.
Zinke and his staffers flew from Las Vegas to Kalispell, Mont., in June. The Post reports they flew aboard a private plane owned by the executives of a Wyoming oil-and-gas exploration firm.
Zinke flew to Las Vegas on a commercial Southwest Airlines jet from Reno. The previous night, Zinke spoke in Lake Tahoe at a meeting hosted by the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a group that the Post described as “a conservative group of attorneys general backed by the Koch brothers.”
An Interior Department spokeswoman told the Post the flight cost taxpayers $12,375. Zinke oversees a department tasked with the management of federal public lands.
Reporting by Politico, the Washington Post and others has revealed multiple occasions in which members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet have forgone commercial flights, leaving taxpayers to foot larger bills.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned Friday amid revelations that he flew on private charter aircrafts, rather than commercial flights, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to taxpayers.