Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used funds from an inauguration-related nonprofit to pay for a $27,521 trip to Florida to visit her ailing father in March.
Fox News reports that her chief of staff clarified the details Friday, but on Wednesday, Whitmer said she had not used taxpayer funds for the trip and it was not a “gift,” but refused to elaborate.
“She continued to carry out her duties as governor while she assisted her father [in Florida] with household duties like cooking and cleaning,” JoAnne Huls, the governor’s chief of staff, wrote in a memo to senior staff. “The governor’s flight was not a gift, not paid for at taxpayer expense, and was done in compliance with the law.”
Whitmer reportedly paid $855 out of pocket for her seat on the flight, Fox News reports.
“As chief of staff, I acknowledge we could have done a better job of answering questions about this trip with more clarity while also balancing the need to protect the governor’s security, and for that I take responsibility,” Huls said in the memo.
Ted Goodman, spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party, said there was a reason Whitmer’s office released the news on a Friday night.
“Tonight’s revelations raise additional questions and concerns surrounding the financial arrangements of Gov. Whitmer’s secret, unvaccinated trip to Florida on a private jet,” Goodman said.
The Detroit News reports the governor received her doses of COVID-19 vaccine in mid-April and April 29.
Whitmer flew on a Gulfstream 280 business jet that is normally used by several wealthy Michigan families for the March 12-15 trip. The Detroit News reports the private plane is usually shared by three of Michigan’s most prominent political donors.