Appearing on ABC News’ “This Week,” on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended his use of a costly government jet to make the short journey from New York City to Washington D.C. following an August meeting in Trump Tower, saying “it was necessary for national security purposes.”
“There are times when I need secure communications to be in touch with the president,” Mnuchin said. “I had a secure call that day that was critical and set up. It needed to be done at that time, and that’s why I used it.”
But there’s a problem: Mnuchin was in New York to attend the now-infamous press conference in Trump Tower during which the president made highly controversial remarks on the violence in Charlottesville. Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who also flew on that government jet, flanked the president during his remarks.
Wait. He had a chance to speak with Trump in person, but he preferred calling him from a private jet? Something doesn’t add up here.
Mnuchin also confirmed that his use of the private jet using taxpayer’s funds is now under review.
“The inspector general is reviewing my travel,” Mnuchin replied. “If there’s suggestions we’ll follow it.”
Investigators are also examining why Mnuchin, an independently wealthy former banker at Goldman Sachs, requested a government jet to take the couple on their European honeymoon in early August.