Mnuchin requested plane for secure communications
The Treasury Department said Thursday that a concern about secure communications is what prompted Secretary Steven Mnuchin to inquire about using a government plane for his European honeymoon in August.
In a statement, the department said the request for a government plane was withdrawn because a “secure communications option was identified” without the use of a government plane.
While the department’s office of the inspector general said it was looking into Mnuchin’s use of government planes, President Trump said he had “total confidence” in his Treasury secretary.
Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton were married in June in a ceremony conducted by Vice President Mike Pence and attended by Trump and a number of members of Trump’s Cabinet. The two went on a honeymoon in August to Scotland, France and Italy.
Treasury’s statement noted that Mnuchin is a member of the president’s National Security Council and oversees the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “It is imperative that he have access to secure communications and it is our practice to consider a wide range of options to ensure that he has these capabilities during his travel, including the possible use of military aircraft,” the statement read.
Mnuchin’s initial request for a plane for his honeymoon, which was first reported by ABC News, is the second controversy regarding Mnuchin’s travel at Treasury. The agency’s Office of Inspector General confirmed Thursday that it is also looking into a trip Mnuchin and his wife took to Kentucky last month on an Air Force plane.