Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — a multi-millionaire many times over — requested use of a government jet for his and his wife’s honeymoon travel to Scotland, France and Italy this summer, sparking an “inquiry” by The Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General, ABC News reported Wednesday.
The request for a U.S. Air Force jet was considered “highly unusual,” people familiar with the matter told ABC. An Air Force spokesman estimated the value of the flight at an eye-popping $25,000 per hour.
The secretary’s office even filled out a request in writing but it was eventually deemed unnecessary.
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The Treasury Department did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment but a spokesperson told ABC News that the secretary requested government travel for his honeymoon out of a concern for maintaining a secure method of communication.
News of the request triggered an angry response from members of Congress. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, told ABC News Mnuchin’s request defies common sense.
Mnuchin, a former partner at Goldman Sachs and Hollywood financier, is worth tens of millions of dollar and is already the subject of an investigation for using government jet to travel to Louisville and Fort Knox, Kentucky, during last month’s solar eclipse.
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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on Wednesday filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain “records concerning authorization for and the costs of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s use of a government plane to travel to Lexington, Kentucky, on Monday, August 21, accompanied by his wife Louise Linton.”
The quick flight garnered national attention after Mnuchin’s wife, aspiring actress Louise Linton, posted a photo disembarking an official Air Force jet and bragged about her expensive designer clothes.
The inspector general is now looking into whether Mnuchin and company used that trip as an excuse to catch a prime view of the solar eclipse. Mnuchin’s office insisted he was there to attend official government business. The Treasury Department said Linton would reimburse the government for her own travel costs.
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An official within The Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General told ABC News an official “inquiry” has been launched into Mnuchin’s honeymoon travel request.
“The Secretary is a member of the National Security Council and has responsibility for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,” the spokesman said in a statement. “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.”