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President Donald Trump stands beside Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson. Photo: Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

The days of President Trump boasting about how his cabinet had “by far the highest IQ of any cabinet ever assembled” are over. As Axios' Jonathan Swan has reported, Trump and his chief of staff John Kelly are becoming increasingly frustrated with stories of cabinet secretaries' frivolous spending on taxpayers' dime.

The big picture: At least six current or former cabinet officials have been swept up in investigations over splurging on expensive renovations or luxurious travel.

  1. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign in September for repeatedly using costly military planes for overseas and domestic travel.
  2. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has been under fire for using government funds to fly his wife to Europe and stipend her meals. Shulkin's chief of staff later stepped down after an investigation found she doctored an email and misled officials to gain approval for the trip.
  3. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has faced backlash for traveling first-class and using a military jet to fly to Rome. And per WashPo, he also used $43,000 in public funds to install a soundproof phone booth in his office.
  4. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's use of private and military aircraft were called into question last fall, and an investigation later found that he had failed to keep complete records of his travel.
  5. HUD Secretary Ben Carson and his wife Candy picked out a $31,000 dining set for his office, according internal emails obtained by CNN.
  6. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin faced inquiries last fall for having requested a government jet for his honeymoon and using a government jet to travel to Kentucky, a trip that coincided with the August eclipse. Mnuchin said the honeymoon story was "misreported" and denied his Kentucky trip was related to the eclipse.

Go deeper: Donald Trump's cabinet full of trouble

Go deeper

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.

Trump gives farewell address: "We did what we came here to do"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump gave a farewell video address on Tuesday, saying that his administration "did what we came here to do — and so much more."

Why it matters, via Axios' Alayna Treene: The address is very different from the Trump we've seen in his final weeks as president — one who has refused to accept his loss, who peddled conspiracy theories that fueled the attack on the Capitol, and who is boycotting his successor's inauguration. 

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