Steven Mnuchin's Flights May Have Cost $800000. But They're Legal

Steve Mnuchin Broke No Law Using Private Jets But Inspector General Dubious Of Explanation For Need

Steve Mnuchin Broke No Law Using Private Jets But Inspector General Dubious Of Explanation For Need

Mnuchin took military aircraft on at least seven occasions without adequate justification, his department's inspector general said in a report.

The Treasury report said Mnuchin's staff had made nine requests for the use of government aircraft since Mnuchin became Treasury secretary this year, including a request for a government plane this summer for Mnuchin's honeymoon travels to Britain, France and Italy.

"I see no violation of law in these requests and uses", Delmar wrote.

Mnuchin's requests included one, later withdrawn, for a government plane for use on his European honeymoon.

Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, was on that trip and the report said that Mnuchin had reimbursed the government for the cost of her travel although it did not provide details of the amount of the reimbursement.

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Trump administration officials said last week that they have tightened up on their approval process and the use of government airplanes by Cabinet officials.

Sen. McConnell's press team posted a photo to Instagram showing the senator and Mnunchin "at Fort Knox before viewing the solar eclipse from the rooftop". The report, released Thursday, found that each trip was classified as a White House support mission.

Several other cabinet leaders are also under review by inspector generals for their use of non-commercial planes, and Tom Price recently resigned as health and human services secretary over his extensive use of charter planes.

Delmar found that the proof in Mnuchin's case cut corners.

The language that was frequently used read, "Due to scheduling, logistics, and communications needs, the use of reimbursable military aircraft, preferably a C-40, is requested".

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In order to get that classification, the president must have directed the official to take the trip and the department must show that commercial airlines were either not available or cost effective or that there was an emergency need or national security concern requiring military planes.

This "single boilerplate statement constituted the whole analysis and justification for designation and use of military aircraft", Delmar wrote.

In another case, Mnuchin cost taxpayers $43,725.50 to fly to Miami for a meeting with the Mexican finance minister, the Times reported.

A flight to Palm Beach, Florida, by Mnuchin's top aide, Eli Miller - on the private jet of a hedge fund billionaire and major contributor to Republican campaigns - is under separate review by the inspector general's office after The Post reported on the trip.

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