Was treasury secretary trip on official plane for eclipse — BBCI

Jennifer Miller

While most of America shuffled out of their offices and into the streets to view Monday's solar eclipse, Steve Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, had a much more exclusive view on the roof of Fort Knox in Kentucky, home of $180 billion in gold owned by the federal government. "Adorable", Linton wrote in response to a woman who quipped that she was glad taxpayers funded "their little getaway" to Kentucky.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife grabbed the media's attention earlier this week after posting a photo to Instagram of her and her husband descending from an Air Force jet clad in hashtagged designer clothing. Was the trip planned so the couple could get a view of the eclipse while flying?

Though she later deleted the photo, Linton's high-profile rant drew the attention of ethics watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which has since filed a public records request detailing the "authorization for and the costs" of the couple's use of government resources to travel to the path of totality for the solar eclipse.

But Treasury officials said Thursday that the trip was planned explicitly around "official government travel", rejecting the idea that the Fort Knox visit and the appearance at a luncheon for the local chamber of commerce were mere cover.

'Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband?' continued the minor TV and movie actress whose new, second husband's net worth was estimated by Forbes to be more than $500 million.




Instead of ignoring a rather harmless comment, Linton called Miller "adorably out of touch" and threw her privilege in Miller's face. "Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?"

A spokesperson for the Treasury Department said the trip was official business to discuss tax reform, and that later in the day the majority leader, the treasury secretary, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and a few others visited the goal depository in Fort Knox.

When an OR woman criticized the trip, Linton fired back that she was "pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you'd be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours".

Linton, who has since changed her Instagram page setting to private, later apologized.

A treasury spokeswoman denied any wrongdoing by Mnuchin in a statement to CNBC and noted the couple was reimbursing the government for the cost of Linton's travel, as is typical in similar circumstances. "It was inappropriate and highly insensitive".

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