“There’s no deal here,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday when pressed on the issue. “The secretary has addressed the matter. He, I think, spoke about it, and he has decided to try to find a way, if there is, to reduce the cost. But, you know, I don’t have anything to add to it.”
Mr. Carney was responding to a question about whether the White House or Mr. Obama had negotiated with Mr. Panetta to allow the California commuting arrangement before Mr. Panetta accepted the Pentagon post.
The defense secretary must use military aircraft for security and communications purposes even during personal travel, but previous defense secretaries have lived in and around the Washington area and did not regularly travel across the country.