Ethics watchdog blasts Pence for use of government travel to Colts game

A top government watchdog blasted Vice President Mike Pence for using government travel to go to an Indianapolis Colts game Sunday that he quickly left.

“CAN WE JUST MAKE IT THROUGH A WEEKEND WITHOUT THIS ADMINISTRATION ABUSING TAXPAYER DOLLARS WITH JET TRAVEL!?” watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) tweeted Sunday.

 

Pence and second lady Karen Pence traveled to Indianapolis from Las Vegas for the game Sunday, and flew to California after the game, according to NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard.

 

Pence quickly walked out of the game after NFL players kneeled during the national anthem. The move is facing criticism, with one Indianapolis sports columnist accusing Pence of using the game as a political stunt.

CNN reporter Kevin Liptak tweeted Sunday that the aircraft Pence takes can cost over $42,000 an hour to operate, meaning that Pence’s trip could cost upwards of $250,000.

 

The jet travel of Trump administration members has been the subject of increased scrutiny. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned late last month after it was revealed he had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on private jets for government travel.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and EPA  Administrator Scott Pruitt are all facing federal investigations over their use of private, chartered or military planes.

Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is also facing an inquiry after a report revealed he spent half of a government business trip to Europe this summer sightseeing and shopping.

Source: The Hill