Mnuchin: Jet Request Was All About National Security
And he says as a New Yorker, he didn't care about eclipse
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 15, 2017 2:38 AM CDT
Stephen Mnuchin and Louise Linton at President Trump's inauguration.   (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
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(Newser) – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday his request for use of a government plane for his European honeymoon earlier this summer was about national security and not his own personal convenience. Mnuchin said as a member of the president's National Security Council, he needed a secure communications link with Washington, and so his staff put in a request for use of an Air Force jet for his trip with his wife, Louise Linton, to Scotland, France, and Italy. But he said once it became clear he could obtain secure communications links without a government plane, the request was withdrawn, the AP reports. "This had nothing to do with convenience," he said. "This was purely about national security."

Mnuchin also denied reports that he and his wife used a government plane to travel to Kentucky so they could view last month's solar eclipse. He said the trip had originally been scheduled for a different time and he wasn't very interested in the celestial spectacle—which he watched from Fort Knox—in the first place. "You know, people in Kentucky took this stuff very serious," he said. "Being a New Yorker ... I was like, the eclipse? Really? I don't have any interest in watching the eclipse." President Trump said Thursday he had "total confidence" in Mnuchin. The Treasury's Office of Inspector General, however, confirmed it's looking into "all requests for and use of government aircraft."

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