Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested a $25,000 Air Force plane ride for him and his new wife to use for their European honeymoon, but the government denied his request, ABC News reports.
Officials at the Department of the Treasury eventually decided the expenditure would be unnecessary, even though Mnuchin has responsibilities as a member of the National Security Council and needs access to secure communication channels during his trip.
“It is imperative that he have access to secure communications, and it is our practice to consider a wide range of options to ensure he has these capabilities during his travel, including the possible use of military aircraft,” a spokesman for the Treasury told ABC.
Mnuchin found another platform for secure communication and withdrew his request, according to his office. Mnuchin and his wife, Scottish actress and model Louise Linton, took their honeymoon to Scotland in early August.
Still, the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General is reviewing Mnuchin’s request and “looking at all requests for and use of government aircraft,” an OIG spokesman said.
The office is also looking into whether Mnuchin misused government planes when he and his wife flew on a taxpayer-funded plane to Kentucky to view the total solar eclipse with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“We are reviewing the circumstances of the Secretary’s August 21 flight . . . to determine whether all applicable travel, ethics, and appropriation laws and policies were observed,” Rich Delmar, counsel for the OIG, told The Washington Post.
“You don’t need a giant rulebook of government requirements to just say yourself, ‘This is common sense, it’s wrong,'” said Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. “That’s just slap your forehead stuff.”
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