Mnuchin re­quested plane for se­cure com­mu­ni­ca­tions

The Detroit News - - Front Page -

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.

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