USDA chief takes 'Georgia Fridays' as workers ordered to office

USDA employees say to remain particularly surprised by Secretary Sonny Perdue’s recent pronouncement to help reduce on telecommuting, especially for the reason that secretary’s many comments have stressed the power of family.

Perdue himself has frequently combined office travel with visits house to see family in his home state of Georgia. USDA has yet to produce all of Perdue’s travel records that POLITICO have been seeking since October. But Perdue’s Twitter feed shows he’s organized his schedule to be Georgia on Fridays putting on monthly since August. The examples don’t include presidential trips, just like the one to Atlanta to visit to the nation’s college football championship game with President Donald Trump on Jan. 8.

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A USDA spokesperson said his travels were justified. "Nothing while in the telework policy prohibits approved official travel for USDA business," the spokesperson said. "It can be integral section of the secretary’s job to get out to the country in order to reach with and listen to completely from the individuals of American agriculture.”

The spokesperson added that Perdue “is website in the workplace every morning and he may be the last one to exit.”

Here is actually a snapshot of his visits to Georgia on Fridays from his Twitter feed:

On Friday, Nov. 3, Perdue made time to visit his alma mater University of Georgia in Athens.

On Friday, Oct. 6, Perdue attended the Georgia National Fair in Perry.

On Friday, Sept. 15, Perdue stopped off in Moultrie before maneuvering to Florida to arrive at Hurricane Harvey damage.

On Friday, Aug. 25, Perdue attended the Georgia Farm Bureau lunch in Tifton.

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