Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was already in hot water for his somewhat supportive response to President Donald Trump’s bonkers comments on Charlottesville when his wife’s Instagram rant went viral on Tuesday. Louise Linton, the Scottish actress and model, has since apologized for raving against one user’s comment critical of her apparent use of a federal government plane to boast about the various clothing brands she was wearing in a published photo. Now that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is investigating the pair’s further use of the plane, however, she may have to apologize again.
The nonprofit government watchdog has requested “copies of all records concerning authorization for and the costs” related to Mnuchin and Linton’s use of the plane on Monday, August 21st. They specifically want “copies of all records concerning authorization for and the costs of Secretary Mnuchin’s use of a government plane for any purpose since his appointment as Treasury Secretary.” Why? Because according to a throwaway line in a Courier-Journal article about Mnuchin’s visit, he and Linton later traveled to Fort Knox “to tour the bullion reserve at the Army post and view the eclipse.”
Whether the Courier-Journal line about Mnuchin and Linton wanting to view the eclipse came from an official comment or something said in passing remains to be seen. Either way, CREW wants to know if they used the government plane in order to see the rare cosmic event. “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.”
“At a time of expected deep cuts to the federal budget,” CREW’s statement continued, “the taxpayers have a significant interest in learning the extent to which Secretary Mnuchin has used government planes for travel in lieu of commercial planes, and the justification for that use.” As of this writing, neither Mnuchin nor Linton have issued official responses to the records requests. And while Linton’s social media accounts remain locked following her Instagram rant, Mnuchin did tweet about his visit to Fort Knox on Monday. He did not, however, mention the solar eclipse.