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Mnuchin Spent $1 Million in Taxpayer Money on Flights

March 16, 2018
2 min read
Mnuchin Spent $1 Million in Taxpayer Money on Flights
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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly spent almost $1 million in military flight travel at taxpayers’ expense last year.

According to a report obtained by Washington watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Mnuchin racked up the pricey travel bill with eight trips between spring and fall 2017 on military aircraft.

The group noted that Mnuchin utilized the military flights for both domestic and international travel opposed to commercial aircraft:

“The public still has no reasonable explanation for why Secretary Mnuchin apparently has never used commercial aircraft, while his predecessors did; why his travel is not designed to minimize costs by, for example, scheduling confidential calls when he is not on a short domestic flight; or why he needs military aircraft that can accommodate 120 passengers when his travel manifests contain far fewer names,” the report said.

Mnuchin's travel includes a number of domestic trips, such as trips to Las Vegas and Miami. Government emails obtained by CREW show that his travel includes a trip to Miami on June 15, 2017, that cost nearly $27,000— a trip that could've easily cost $688 per person round-trip on a commercial flight.

This is not the first time Mnuchin’s travel expenses have been investigated. Back in October 2017, the Treasury Department’s inspector general investigated Mnuchin’s use of military aircraft and reported that the treasury secretary did not have any violations in his travel. The Treasury Department recently released a statement quoting the CREW's report as having "falsehoods and mischaracterizations."

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Other officials in President Donald Trump’s cabinet have also come under fire for their use of military and exorbitant taxpayer-funded flights, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who recently vowed to start flying coach, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who eventually resigned due to the travel scrutiny, according to reports.

Featured image by ©2017 Mark Reinstein

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