Buttigieg Gives the Most Ridiculous Excuse Ever for Using Private Jets

Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP

Embattled Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has come under fire recently for basically being terrible at his job, has also been criticized for his regular use of private government jets, a practice he tried to defend during an appearance on Fox News.

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It did not go well.

“You’ve been a big advocate for the environment—the administration’s climate change policy. What do you say to people who ask, is it environmentally responsible to fly on private government jets when commercial options are available?” host Bret Baier asked.

“Well, when we’re making a decision about what kind of aircraft to use, we weigh a lot of things. That’s one of the things we consider. So is saving taxpayers money. Now, I fly the majority of the time in economy class on an airliner, just like everybody else,” Buttigieg claimed. “But there are cases where we use an FAA jet, a jet that’s assigned to my department. I’ll give you an example. I went to Wisconsin recently. This was last year, I think. […] We saved taxpayers $2,000 by using the FAA jet instead of buying those airline tickets.”

After Baier pointed out several other private jet flights Buttigieg has taken, the secretary claimed, “taxpayers are usually saving money when we do that.”

The FAA reportedly charges federal agencies $5,000 per hour for the use of a private jet. According to a recent analysis of his flight records by the New York Post, Buttigieg has used private jets 18 times since taking office. His predecessor, Elaine Chao, was criticized for using private jets seven times in 2017.

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Baier noted that former HHS Secretary Tom Price was essentially forced to resign from Donald Trump’s cabinet for his use of private jets. Of course, according to Buttigieg, that was different because, allegedly, when Price did it, it wasn’t saving taxpayers money, but when he does it, it is. For Buttigieg’s explanation to be true, we’d have to believe that the FAA offers a ridiculously huge discount for anyone working in a Democrat administration.

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