[Treasury] Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested use of a government jet to take him and his wife on their honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy earlier this summer, sparking an “inquiry” by the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General, sources tell ABC News.
Officials familiar with the matter say the highly unusual ask for a U.S. Air Force jet, which according to an Air Force spokesman could cost roughly $25,000 per hour to operate, was put in writing by the secretary’s office but eventually deemed unnecessary after further consideration of by Treasury Department officials. …
“You don’t need a giant rulebook of government requirements to just say yourself, ‘This is common sense, it’s wrong,'” [Democratic Sen. Ron] Wyden said. “That’s just slap your forehead stuff.”
That comes after the flap over Mnuchin’s wife, Louise Linton, concerning her “Instagram bragging“:
Dressed in all white and carrying a handbag and silk scarf, the Scottish-born actress and producer tagged a series of luxury designers, including Hermes, Roland Mouret, Tom Ford and Valentino.
“Great #daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful #countryside #usa,” she wrote. Instagram user Jenni Miller, a mother of three from Oregon, took issue with the post, commenting, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable”
Linton fired back in a sarcastic tone.
“@jennimiller29 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,” she wrote in a response peppered with kiss emojis.>
Her reply escalated further as she touted her family’s wealth and personal “sacrifice.”
The Mnuchins have become the Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI of an administration stocked with millionaires and billionaires. At a time when Mnuchin is hawking a tax plan, which at least in previous incarnations bestowed a windfall on the super-rich (he can buy his own plane next time), they stand out as two comically awful symbols of a president who ran as a populist and governs like a plutocrat.
Firing Mnuchin not only would reaffirm Trump’s pledge to help the “forgotten men and women” — who have been forgotten on tax reform, health care and budget initiatives — but also remove an inept negotiator from tax discussions. The Hill reported on Mnuchin’s performance in the debt-ceiling talks:
“His performance was incredibly poor, and his last words, and I quote, were ‘vote for the debt ceiling for me,’ ” said Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), a group that opposed the bill.
“It was a very arrogant lecture that turned off more of the conference,” added another RSC member. “I’m less sold than when I walked into the meeting.”
Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), a Freedom Caucus member, called the comments “unhelpful” and “intellectually insulting.”
In sum, Republicans on the Hill, President Trump’s base (fast becoming demoralized by Trump’s frequent betrayal on campaign themes), his harried aides and good-government advocates would no doubt applaud the move. The Mnuchins — along with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner — remain entertaining reminders that billionaires with no government experience and little contact with regular people can be detrimental to an administration, particularly one as hapless and incompetent as this one.