Watchdog: Price wasted $341,000 on domestic, international flights
Compiled from news services
WASHINGTON— Tom Price, the former secretary of health and human services, wasted at least $341,000 by billing taxpayers for his use of chartered jets and military aircraft, federal investigators said Friday.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general, Daniel Levinson, documented the $1.2 million Mr. Price spent on trips. He examined 21 trips that used chartered, military and commercial aircraft, plus planes equipped for use by the president and vice president. Twenty of 21 flights did not comply with federal requirements.
Ross liquidates stocks
WASHINGTON— Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he is selling all his stock holdings after reports raised questions about the timing of some of his stock transactions. He received a sharp reprimand from the chief federal ethics officer.
But it’s not clear whether the sales by Mr. Ross will be enough to satisfy ethics critics and end the episode. Before joining the Trump administration, Mr. Ross made billions investing in distressed companies.
Watchdog groups and some congressional Democrats are already calling for further government probes into his stock trades.
Moving beyond Papa John
NEWYORK — Papa John’s has begun pulling founder John Schnatter’s image from its marketing and pledged to assess its diversity practices Friday.
Mr. Schnatter was off some materials Friday. The chain said there are no plans to change names. Mr. Schnatter, the company’s largest shareholder, remains on the board.
Mr. Schnatter said he would resign as chairman and issued a statement of apology after the incident.
Poverty War ‘largely over’
WASHINGTON— The White House has declared the War on Poverty “largely over and a success,” arguing there are few truly poor Americans and that those who remain on government aid should be pushed toward private employment.
The White House Council of Economic Advisers said Thursday almost all Americans have access to housing and food, and that poverty has fallen by as much as 90 percent over the past five decades. Only 3 percent of Americans are in poverty, the report said.
The report follows U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley saying last month that no more than 250,000 Americans are in “extreme poverty,” condemning a United Nations report that said 18.5 million Americans suffer from extreme poverty.
Cohen’s Swiss contact
WASHINGTON— A report released by Senate Democrats says Michael Cohen was in frequent contact with top officials of the pharmaceutical giant Novartis as part of the lawyer’s $1.2 million consulting deal with the Swiss-based company.
The report also says the company expected Mr. Cohen to provide access to the Trump administration, though the report doesn’t show evidence he approached Mr. Trump or others in the administration.
Novartis is disputing reports it tried to play down its dealings with Mr. Cohen.
The report hints of his efforts to persuade clients that he had intimate knowledge of the policies and personnel that Trump’s White House would promote.