U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and wife used government plane to get eclipse view: watchdog
A government watchdog is accusing U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin of using a government plane to secure a good view of Monday’s eclipse.
It’s the second time this week Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, are under scrutiny for their travels – after an Instagram post from Linton listing the designer clothing she wore on the plane was widely criticized.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have alleged that the couple planned a trip using a government plane specifically to secure a view of the eclipse on Monday.
Mnuchin and Linton went to Lexington, Ky., to attend a luncheon sponsored by the Louisville chamber of commerce.
They also “headed to Fort Knox…to tour the bullion reserve at the Army post and view the eclipse,” the CREW outlines.
CREW is asking the Department of Treasury to release all documents pertaining to their travel.
“The requested records would shed light on the justification for Secretary Mnuchin’s use of a government plane rather than a commercial flight, for a trip that seems to have been planned around the solar eclipse and to enable the Secretary to secure a viewpoint in the path of the eclipse’s totality,” CREW states on its website.
Officials at CREW made the request after a “public firestorm” following an Instagram post from Linton after the trip.
“In a response to a comment on the post, Ms. Linton snapped back in a post highly critical of the commenter and defended her lavish lifestyle and the government-paid trip,” CREW wrote in the request for information.
The post showed the newlywed couple getting off the government plane, and mentioned several of the designer labels she was wearing, including Tom Ford and Hermes.
The public post, which has since been deleted, received instant criticism by users, who slammed Linton for bragging about her wealth and using a government plane.
But it was Linton’s reply to user Jenni Miller, who had commented, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway #deplorable,” that drew the most criticism.
“Cute! Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable!” Linton wrote. “Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?”
Linton has since apologized for the post calling it “inappropriate and highly insensitive.”
Bloomberg News reports that the couple is supposed to reimburse the Department of Treasury for the cost of Linton’s travels. A spokesman told CNN that Linton “does not receive compensation for products she mentions.”
WATCH: Louise Linton drew the ire of the public after bragging about her designer outfit while on a government-paid trip to Kentucky with her husband, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
This isn’t Linton’s first controversy. Last year, the little-known actor apologized amid criticism of a self-published memoir about her time living in Africa, and was forced to withdraw the book. Critics said the book was inaccurate, and it was even condemned by the government of Zambia.
*With files from Maham Abedi
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