President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, is once again under fire for his flying habits. This time, Buttigieg was caught using a military aircraft to travel to the Netherlands with his husband to attend the fifth Invictus Games, according to a calendar obtained by Americans for Public Trust (APT).
On April 15, the transportation secretary traveled via “MilAir Flight” from Joint Base Andrews to Rotterdam, Netherlands. He returned two days later on military aircraft.
Photos from the event and media reports revealed that Buttigieg didn’t travel alone — he brought his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, with him.
Prior to the event in April, Biden announced that Buttigieg would be leading a presidential delegation to the Invictus Games — an event founded by Prince Harry in 2014 as a multi-sport competition for wounded, injured or sick military members or veterans. Biden’s delegation included lawmakers and fellow administration officials, along with Buttigieg — who joined the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2009 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014.
After releasing the transportation secretary’s calendar, Americans for Public Trust questioned whether flying to the Netherlands with his husband aboard a military aircraft raised a “double standard” — considering the fact that a Trump administration official had faced significant backlash for similar actions.
Former President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had cost taxpayers over $1 million via his use of taxpayer-funded private jets and military aircraft.
Price ended up reimbursing the government for some of the travel costs after news broke that his wife had joined him on military aircraft for some of his overseas trips.
Meanwhile, Buttigieg has already been called out for using taxpayer-funded private jets “on at least 18 occasions since taking office, despite arguing for aggressive climate change policies and carbon emission reductions,” according to APT.
It is currently unclear whether the transportation secretary has reimbursed the government for his husband’s travel costs.
Critics of Buttigieg have begun calling him out for his actions following APT’s report, with many of them citing his penchant for flying on the taxpayers’ dime and his numerous failures as transportation secretary — including his botched handling of the supply chain crisis, the recent flight cancellations over the holiday season and the railroad worker strike negotiations.
“While families’ holiday travel plans were upended by his department’s failures, Buttigieg has used their tax dollars to avoid problems he created,” APT tweeted.
🚨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
“Your holiday flights were delayed or canceled but Pete Buttigieg brought his husband on a military aircraft to attend a sporting event in the Netherlands,” said Abigail Marone, press secretary for Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).
Your holiday flights were delayed or cancelled but Pete Buttigieg brought his husband on a military aircraft to attend sporting event in Netherlands https://t.co/TLHCMUta2f
— Abigail Marone 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) January 4, 2023
American Majority founder and CEO Ned Ryun called Buttigieg “the poster boy for an arrogant and detached idiocracy.”
Little Pete is the poster boy for an arrogant and detached idiocracy. https://t.co/XKFrnLVTbw
— Ned Ryun (@nedryun) January 4, 2023