Mike Waltz and Brian Mast wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken
By Elizabeth Elkind
Two House Republicans are demanding that the Biden administration release Climate Envoy John Kerry’s flight records to determine how much was spent on military flights and the carbon emissions from any travel he took on private jets.
Kerry is facing a new wave GOP-led criticism after a congressional hearing last week where he insisted he “personally” has “never owned a private jet” but admitted to taking five military flights since joining the Biden administration.
“As you know, chartered Military Aircraft (MILAIR) flights are much more costly than flying commercial, and the use of such flights by past presidential cabinet officials have drawn heavy scrutiny for its abuse of taxpayer allocated funds,” Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The letter, obtained by Fox News Digital, was co-led by GOP Reps. Brian Mast and Cory Mills of Florida.
“SPE Kerry testified in that hearing that, ‘I have flown five times in the last two-and-a-half years on MILAIR.’ What were the exceptional circumstances that required the use of this aircraft?” the lawmakers asked.
The letter also questioned Kerry’s admission during the hearing that he used a private jet “maybe once” in his current role as climate envoy.
“Was this flight in his official role?” it asked. “If so, did the State Department consider the carbon emissions of private jet use when approving this travel, particularly in light of SPE Kerry’s current mandate?”
“Kerry also agreed to hand over all his official travel records. This is very welcome, since State’s perceived lack of transparency on his activity has been a key area of concern for my colleagues and I on the committee,” the letter stated. “Not only is there no website for SPE Kerry’s office on the official State Department web page, but the identities of his staff – from the most senior to the most junior – were completely unknown before our hearing on July 13.”
“Therefore, we request that you turn over all flight records including commercial, MILAIR, and private travel that were paid with federal funds since the beginning of Special Envoy Kerry’s tenure by August 1, 2023. We also request you turn over Special Envoy Kerry meeting records with foreign officials since he took office as special envoy,” the wrote.
Fox News Digital reached out to a representative for Kerry at the State Department for an estimate of how much his five MILAIR flights would have cost.
In his letter, Waltz pointed to past reporting that accused Trump administration Health Secretary Tom Price of using MILAIR flights for multiple multi-national trips at a $500,000 cost to taxpayers.
At last week’s House hearing, Kerry fumed that the claim he used a private jet to conduct official business “one of the most outrageously persistent lies that I hear.”
But while he claimed to never personally owned a private jet, a Fox News Digital report from last year found that Kerry’s family jet, which has since been sold, made more than 60 trips between President Biden’s swearing in and the time of publishing.