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updated: 10/5/2017 4:58 PM

Report: Chao used government planes, not cheaper flights

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WASHINGTON -- Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has used government planes instead of cheaper commercial airline flights seven times in the past eight months.

That's according to The Washington Post. The Federal Aviation Administration, part of Chao's department, maintains a fleet of planes, including a Gulfstream IV business jet.

The Post reports that Chao used government planes to fly to Paris for an air show and to Sardinia for an international conference. Other destinations included cities within an hour's flight of Washington.

Chao is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. She didn't immediately reply to questions from The Associated Press.

Her office said in a previous statement that Chao tries to fly commercial whenever possible, and uses government planes when commercial flights aren't available or for "security protocols."

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