Trump Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is under fire for flying for pleasure at public expense, and attacked New York City citizens when he was questioned on it.
Donald Trump's Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has bizarrely claimed that allegations that he requested a government plane to view the eclipse are untrue because New Yorkers were disinterested in the natural phenomenon.
The Treasury Department is being sued by the ethics watchdog CREW, which is seeking records related to Mnuchin's travel with his wife, Louise Linton, on the day of the eclipse to Fort Knox. The government has not revealed the information after a Freedom of Information Act request was filed, prompting the lawsuit. CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said, "We’re suing because the government has so far failed even to respond."
On that day, Linton posted an Instagram photo of the couple getting off an official Air Force jet and bragged about the designer clothes she was wearing. After a woman accused her of using tax dollars to finance a personal jaunt, Linton mocked the woman for having less money than her.
Asked about the controversy at an event with Politico, Mnuchin denied the allegation and offered his strange and insulting reasoning.
"You know, people in Kentucky took this stuff very serious," he said. "Being a New Yorker ... I was like, the eclipse? Really? I don't have any interest in watching the eclipse."
Arguing that New Yorkers were disinterested in the event is strangely defensive and out of touch. Thousands of citizens in the city joined the rest of America in marveling at the phenomenon, gathering together to look up and watch what was happening.
Mnuchin is also under fire for requesting a government plane to travel overseas during his honeymoon. The request could have cost taxpayers $25,000 an hour, and it triggered an inquiry from the Treasury Department's inspector general. Mnuchin withdrew the request as it began to make waves.
Like Trump, Mnuchin appears to enjoy using taxpayer funds for his personal enjoyment, despite his own personal fortune. He earned millions while owning banks during the financial crisis, and as a movie producer.
He is reportedly worth as much as $500 million, certainly enough to be able to afford his own flight to Kentucky. Yet when caught using taxpayer dollars to finance his travel, he reflexively offered a lame excuse and smeared New Yorkers. No wonder he is so close to Trump.