Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin cost taxpayers $ 1 million in airfare



Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin.
Yuri Gripas / Reuters

  • The air travel of Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin has come under scrutiny.
  • A government watchdog group obtained records detailing seven separate trips that Mnuchin made last year that cost a total of nearly $ 1 million.
  • This is not the first time Mnuchin has been criticized for the alleged excessive use of taxpayer dollars.

United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin accumulated more than $ 1 million in air tickets between March and October of last year, according to documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government monitoring group profit.

Records provide details of seven separate official governmental trips that Mnuchin took care of the taxpayer cent. An eighth trip from Washington to New York, documented in an October 2017 report by Rich Delmar, adviser to the Office of the Inspector General of the Treasury Department, cost taxpayers more than $ 15,000.

These figures did not take into account the reimbursements of Mnuchin's wife or members of the press who traveled with the secretary during some of the trips.

In all cases, Mnuchin flew in military aircraft instead of commercial aircraft, which would have cost much less.

For example, on June 1, 2017, Mnuchin's office was notified that an upcoming trip to Miami would cost just under $ 27,000. But two days before the scheduled departure, said CREW, the Treasury Department requested an improvement in the aircraft to adapt to the need to access "secure communications during this mission."

The update caused the actual cost of the trip to be $ 45,136.

The cost per person on a commercial flight would have been $ 688 round-trip, emails obtained by the CREW show.

Although Mnuchin has used military aircraft to travel far more often than his predecessors, CREW said the "details and justification" included in his requests "have a remarkable similarity" to those presented by the previous treasury secretaries.

Mnuchin with his wife, Louise.
Evan Vucc / AP

Mnuchin has been under fire in recent months for what many perceive as his excessive use of taxpayers' money.

In early August, Mnuchin requested to fly on a military plane to visit Europe with his wife for their honeymoon.

That trip would probably have cost approximately $ 25,000 per house, but was eventually discarded after Treasury Department officials considered it.

Other members of the Trump Cabinet, including Secretary of the Department of the Interior Ryan Zinke, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, have also been scrutinized for their questionable Use of taxpayers' money.

These are the eight trips that Mnuchin made in 2017 that cost more than $ 1 million combined:

  • March 15-18, United Kingdom and Germany, meeting with foreign finance ministers: $ 301,167 [19659022] 11-14 May, Italy, Conference of Finance Ministers of the G-20: $ 314,442
  • June 9, Canada, bilateral meeting with the Minister of Finance of Canada: $ 16,350 [19659022] June 15, Miami, Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America: $ 45,725
  • August 15, New York, meetings at Trump Tower: $ 15,112
  • August 21, Kentucky, Official events with Republican legislators: $ 26,900
  • August 28-29, West Virginia and Las Vegas, meetings with senators: $ 94,100
  • End of October, Middle East, bilateral meetings and conferences of press with government officials and business leaders: $ 183,646

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