Mnuchin’s flights cost taxpayers $1 million

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Mnuchin’s flights cost taxpayers $1 million New York Daily News 5 hrs ago MEGAN CERULLO © Carolyn Kaster/AP Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, is worth $300 million, according to Forbes. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spent $1 million in taxpayer money to use military aircraft between the spring and fall of 2017 — and requested a military jet to fly him and his wife on their European honeymoon, travel records show.
Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, is worth an estimated $300 million, according to Forbes .
The honeymoon proposal cited a need to access secure communications during the trip across Edinburgh, Great Britain; Paris, France; Gargano, Italy; and Milan, Italy.
The request claimed it would be “the most cost-effective means to secure communications during this trip — both on-the-ground and in-transit,” records obtained by CREW through a Freedom of Information Act request show.
Mnuchin said he eventually withdrew the request “after finding another option,” according to CREW.
The wealthy couple drew ire when they took a government aircraft to Lexington and Fort Knox, Kentucky, during the solar eclipse.
Mnuchin denied spending taxpayer money on voluntary travel.
“People in Kentucky took this stuff very seriously. Being a New Yorker, I don’t have any interest in watching the eclipse,” he said, The Washington Post reported.
Yet the travel records shed new light on the couple’s potentially reckless use of taxpayer money for travel when suitable commercial fights were available.
The report details the cost of Mnuchin’s trips, including a jaunt to Bari, Italy for a two-day G-7 Finance Ministers meeting that cost more than $300,000.
The original request was for a large aircraft capable of accommodating 120 passengers for just 24 travelers. The Treasury Secretary ultimately obtained approval to use a smaller aircraft.
Office of Management and Budget guidelines on the use of government aircraft intend to “restrict the operation of government aircraft to defined official purposes.”
“Official travel” comprises “travel to meet mission requirements, required use travel, and other travel for the conduct of agency business.”
Official travel to give speeches, to attend conferences and meetings, or make routine site visits is excluded from “mission requirements.”
Communications and security needs and scheduling requirements can fall under the “required use” category.
“Official travel” is only permitted on government aircraft when there is “no commercial airline or aircraft (including charter) service…reasonably available” under OMB guidance .
Mnuchin denied that he used taxpayer money to fund personal travel.
“Let me be clear. I’m very sensitive to the use of government funds. I’ve never asked the government to pay for my personal travel,” he said Thursday.
The Treasury’s Office of Inspector General “is reviewing all requests for and use of government aircraft” counsel Rich Delmar told the Washington Post.
Mnuchin also travelled to the United Kingdom and Germany for three days as a representative at the G-20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Germany and for meetings in london.
He cited “scheduling, logistics, and secure communication needs” to justify the request. The trip cost approximately $300,000, records show.

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