Mar 16, 2018

Steve Mnuchin racked up $1 million for flights on taxpayer's dime

Steve Mnuchin

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spent nearly $1 million of taxpayer's money on eight trips in 2017 by choosing to fly on military aircraft instead of flying commercial, according to new documents obtained by watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

Why it matters: Mnuchin, who was criticized for his travel choices last fall, is the latest Trump administration official to come under fire for frivolous spending of government funds — something that has infuriated both the president and his chief of staff, John Kelly.

CREW obtained emails and other records of Mnuchin's 2017 travel through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request sent after the Treasury Secretary was criticized for using a government jet to travel to Kentucky, a trip that coincided with the August eclipse.

“From the documents we obtained, it appears Secretary Mnuchin considers first and foremost his own comfort and ease, leaving the protection of taxpayer money at the bottom of his list of priorities.”
— CREW Chief FOIA Counsel Anne Weismann said in a press release

Mnuchin's pricey trips on military aircraft

  • U.K. and Germany (March 17-18, 2017): The trip cost an estimated $301,167.20.
  • Bari, Italy (May 2017): The trip cost an estimated $314,000.
  • Ottawa, Canada (June 9, 2017): Mnuchin took a military aircraft at a cost of $16,350. 20 individuals, including his wife Louise Linton and members of the media, joined him on the flight.
  • Miami, Florida (June 15, 2017): The two hour flight on military aircraft cost $45,136.
  • New York City (August 15, 2017): The round-trip flight cost $15,112.50.
  • Louisville and Fort Knox, Kentucky (August 21, 2017): According to an Inspector General's Memo, the trip cost $26,900.25, but a different Treasury document lists the cost as $33,046.
  • Parkersburg, West Virginia and Las Vegas, Nevada (August 28-29, 2017): Both flights cost $94,100.50.
  • Middle East (One week in October 2017): $183,646

Read the Treasury Department's justification for each trip.

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