Treasury Secretary Mnuchin denies using government plane for personal travel

“People in Kentucky took this stuff very seriously. Being a New Yorker I don’t have any interest in watching the eclipse,” Steve Mnuchin said Thursday at a conference sponsored by Politico

The Latest on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's use of government planes.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked for a $25,000-an-hour military jet to fly him and his wife on a honeymoon to Europe, weeks before the couple flew on a government aircraft during the eclipse.

"So let me just set the record straight, first of all, the government has never paid for any of my personal travel".

The Treasury Department considered it, he said, because he needed access to secure communications channels while on the trip.

He was at it again on Thursday when, in a conversation with Politico's Ben White, he took himself out of the frying pan and jumped right into the fire when trying to knock down reports that he had used a government plane to fly to Kentucky to see the solar eclipse. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) met with Mnuchin during that trip and tweeted a photo of them watching the eclipse together, complete with proper eyewear.

Treasury officials defended the visit as official government travel worthy of a flight aboard an Air Force jet. "This was one of the things we explored".

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Rich Delmar, counsel to the Inspector General at Treasury, said the IG's office was "looking at all requests for and use of government aircraft" at Treasury.

Meanwhile, Mnuchin's wife managed to stir her own controversy surrounding that August trip to Kentucky when she lashed out at a stranger on Instagram, an incident for which she later issued a public apology.

Linton's social media misstep featured a posted a photo boasting about her designer accessories, followed by Marie Antoinette-like attack on the online OR critic she chided as "adorably out of touch".

Last year, Ms Linton deleted her Twitter account after her memoir of a gap year spent in Zambia sparked outrage for including major factual inaccuracies. I'm pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day "trip" than you did. Adorable! Did you think the United States govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?!

Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton were married in June in a ceremony conducted by Vice President Mike Pence and attended by President Donald Trump and a number of members of Trump's Cabinet.

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