Last month, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s trophy wife Louise Linton posted the following ill-advised response to an Instagram troll that, among other things, condescendingly blasted the suggestion that Mnuchin/Linton used government planes “for our honeymoon or personal travel.”
“Cute! Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours. You’re adorably out of touch. Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute. I know you’re mad but deep down you’re really nice and so am I. Sending me passive aggressive Instagram comments isn’t going to make life feel better. Maybe a nice message [sic], one filled with wisdom and hunanity [sic] would get more traction. Have a pleasant evening. Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!”
— Margarita Noriega (@margarita) August 22, 2017
The whole episode sparked outrage on the left and resulted in a watchdog group filing a FOIA request for all of Steve Mnuchin’s travel logs (see: Watchdog Group Files FOIA Request For Mnuchin’s Flight Logs After Wife’s Instagram Spat) to see whether his official travel may have been scheduled around the solar eclipse so that he and his new wife could catch a glimpse of the rare event from the comfort of a private government plane.
Alas, it now seems that even if the U.S. government didn’t ultimately pay for Linton’s honeymoon or personal travel that Mnuchin at least gave it the ‘good ole college try’. According to Bloomberg, Mnuchin requested a U.S. Air Force jet for his honeymoon in Europe last month “for national security reasons” but subsequently withdrew the request after realizing he wasn’t really that important to the world at large.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sought to use a U.S. Air Force jet for his honeymoon to Europe last month for national security reasons, a request that was later withdrawn.
Mnuchin and his wife, actress Louise Linton, eventually decided not to travel on a government plane, the Treasury Department said in a statement after an ABC News report on the matter. His request is now part of an inquiry by the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General, ABC news reported Wednesday, citing unnamed officials. The cost is about $25,000 an hour, ABC reported, citing an Air Force spokesman.
Mnuchin’s request for personal travel at taxpayer expense was made out of concern for him having a secure method of communications, given issues ranging from Iran to Venezuela to North Korea, a Treasury spokeswoman said. After it became apparent that other methods of protected communication were available, Mnuchin decided not to use military aircraft, she said.
Meanwhile, the whole episode has resulted in a full review of Mnuchin’s travel by the Treasury inspector general.
The Treasury inspector general said it is reviewing the trip “to determine whether all applicable travel, ethics and appropriate laws and policies were observed” in response to public inquiries.
Rich Delmar, counsel to the inspector general, said by telephone Wednesday that the review is now looking at “all requests for and use of government aircraft” by Mnuchin.
The Treasury said that Linton, 36, will reimburse the government for transportation costs when she travels with Mnuchin on official business.
Just a word to the wise Ms. Linton, if you’re going to take the ‘high road’ in your condescending social media rants then you might want to first make sure you’re actually on that road.
We’re sure that many Americans would hate to see you have to depart the Treasury department prematurely.
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