Waltz Leads Request for John Kerry’s Travel Records
Washington, July 18, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, U.S. Congressmen Mike Waltz (FL-6), Brian Mast (FL-21), and Cory Mills (FL-7) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken regarding several concerning statements made by the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPE) John Kerry on his use of chartered Military Aircraft (MILAIR) and private planes during his testimony before a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability hearing on July 13, 2023.
Additionally, the lawmakers questioned whether the State Department considered the carbon emissions of SPE Kerry’s private jet usage when approving the travel, particularly in light of SPE Kerry’s current mandate. The lawmakers also requested all of SPE Kerry’s flight records, including commercial, MILAIR, and private travel paid for with federal funds, and a list of everyone he has met with since taking office.
Read the full letter:
Dear Secretary Blinken:
I write to you today in reference to several concerning statements made by United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPE) John Kerry during his testimony before a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability hearing on July 13, 2023.
Firstly, 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. In 2017, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price came under heavy scrutiny for using military aircraft for international trips to Europe and Asia that cost over $500,000. 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?
SPE Kerry also testified that he had flown on a private jet “possibly once” while serving in his current position. His admission of flying on a private jet is troubling. According to the British Government’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy in 2021, flying privately can produce about five times the amount of carbon dioxide of commercial flights per passenger. Was this flight in his official role? 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?
Thirdly, SPE 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. 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. Who has Kerry met with? My colleagues and I on the committee would very much like to know.