Trump defends Mnuchin amid government jet inquiry: He’s a ‘straight shooter’
Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin received the support of President Donald Trump Thursday, a day after ABC News first reported that an inquiry had been launched by his department’s inspector general over his request to use a government jet to travel on his honeymoon to Europe.
“I’ve known him a long time, he is a very straight shooter,” said Trump of Mnuchin while speaking aboard his Air Force One on his way back to Washington, D.C., after visiting impacted by Hurricane Irma in Florida.
“It could be that he used a plane and he’s paying for it,” the president continued. “I don’t know anything about it, I really don’t. I just heard about it a little while ago.”
ABC News learned from officials familiar with the situation that the request for a U.S. Air Force plane was submitted in writing by Mnuchin’s office, but eventually reconsidered. An Air Force spokesperson said such a plane could cost roughly $25,000 per hour to operate.
A separate review is underway of a trip Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, took to Kentucky in August. Linton sparked public uproar after that trip when she posted a photo on Instagram of the pair departing their government plane and publicly sparred with a woman who criticized the picture in the post’s comments.
Trump said Thursday that the inquiry had not diminished his opinion of the former Wall Street executive, saying he has “total confidence” in the secretary.
“I’ve known him for a long time,” said Trump. “He’s a very honorable man.”
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