A watchdog group estimated that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spent over $1 million in taxpayer dollars to fly around the country in “military jets” during his time in office—and occasionally for personal trips, HuffPost reports. American Oversight, a nonpartisan watchdog group, obtained documents that indicate Tillerson used military jets at least 15 times during his 14 months in office. He reportedly flew to Texas, Colorado, Montana, and West Virginia, with five of the trips labeled as “personal travel” in State Department memos. The documents don’t provide a reason for another 10 trips he took on military jets.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert defended Tillerson’s jet use, claiming the secretary of state “must be protected by a security detail” and have communications access at all times. “When utilizing DOD aircraft for personal travel, all Secretaries of State reimburse the government at the rate required by law,” she told HuffPost. Tillerson reportedly could not be reached for comment. Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have also reportedly used military aircraft for travel.