The Biden administration’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled on a military aircraft to Europe last spring, according to an internal calendar obtained by Americans for Public Trust. Buttigieg reportedly made the trip to attend the fifth installation of the Invictus Games hosted by Prince Harry as a way to honor military vets and wounded, injured, or sick soldiers.
Per the calendar, Buttigieg boarded “MilAir Flight” at Joint Base Andrews on April 15, 2021 and returned on a military aircraft. As indicated in photos and media reports, his husband Chasen was with him on the trip.
While the move seems less than appropriate, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council told Fox News Digital that the use of military aircraft is standard practice for White House-organized Cabinet-level presidential delegations. Biden had reportedly appointed Buttigier to attend the event with a presidential delegation.
“The Secretary was proud to be asked to be part of the Presidential Delegation that the State Department organized for the Invictus Games — an international event supporting wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans,” the spokesperson explained.
Despite the attempt at clarification, Buttigieg’s travel raised questions of double standards as former President Donald Trump’s former Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, was criticized for using government-funded private and military aircraft even though he said at the time that the flights were taken in an official capacity.
After reports that Price took his wife with him to overseas trips on military aircraft, the former HHS secretary reimbursed the government for some of the travel costs, which reportedly cost more than $1 million. It is unclear whether Buttigieg has reimbursed the government for his husband’s travel costs. The travel costs to taxpayers are also yet to be known.
APT’s report comes at the back of Buttigieg’s poor performance at the Department of Transportation, which is blamed for the operational meltdown at Southwest Airlines that saw several flight delays and cancellations over the holidays.
🚨New: @SecretaryPete took military aircraft to attend a sporting event in the Netherlands with his husband.
While families’ holiday travel plans were upended by his department's failures, Buttigieg has used their tax dollars to avoid problems he createdhttps://t.co/z0tZeVMApC
— Americans for Public Trust (@apublictrust) January 4, 2023
Pointing out that Buttigieg has taken up to 18 private jet flights since he took office, critics on Twitter did not waste time in denouncing him for his hypocritical calls for aggressive climate change policies and carbon emission reductions.
Wild story – to summarize, while commercial air travel has been a disaster for you:
✈️Mayor Pete has taken 18 private jet flights
✈️He took Chasten on a military plane to attend a sporting event in Europe.. with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Tom Price resigned for much less. https://t.co/da0UbiV6zy
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) January 4, 2023
Summarizing the story is Republican communicator Matt Whitlock who tweeted, “Mayor Pete has taken 18 private jet flights He took Chasten on a military plane to attend a sporting event in Europe with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.”
Whitlock’s criticism of Buttigieg did not end with one tweet. More than the issue of using taxpayer money to get to Europe and the double standard the issue reeks of, he wonders how necessary it was for Buttigieg to go “hang out” with Prince Harry and Meghan.