Treasury Secretary Mnuchin denies using government plane for personal travel

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin denies using government plane for personal travel

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin denies using government plane for personal travel

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday acknowledged that he did initially request a government plane to travel to his honeymoon in Europe, but he said he only did so because he needed access to secure communications while overseas. "Being a New Yorker and (living for a time in) California, I was like, the eclipse? First of all, the government never paid for any of my personal travel", Mnuchin said at a conference sponsored by Politico.

But he said it was just an option being explored and once it became clear he could obtain secure communications links without a government plane, the request was withdrawn.

Both the flight to Kentucky and the honeymoon request are under review by the Treasury Department's inspector general.

Treasury officials have defended the day-long jaunt as "official government travel" and dismissed the suggestion that it was planned specifically to coincide with the celestial event. The Treasury has said it is looking into requests for use of government aircraft after the trip drew criticism. "Really? I don't have any interest in watching the eclipse".

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"She went on to include hashtags of various luxury designers she was wearing: "#rolandmouret trousers #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf #valentinorockstudheels #valentino #usa", prompting one user to reply, "Glad we could pay for your little getaway.

One senior Treasury official who has worked with a number of past secretaries said that military aircraft are only used in "extreme" circumstances, such as if the secretary had to be rushed back to a meeting in Washington, D.C., with the President. Linton posted a photo of herself and her husband stepping off a government jet and wrote, "Great #daytrip to #Kentucky!"

Mr Mnuchin, who has amassed a personal fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, married Scottish actress Louise Linton in June.

When a commentator criticised her for using taxpayers' money for the getaway, Ms Linton responded telling the woman to "chill out". Adorable! Do you think the U.S. govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?!

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