Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested use of a government jet to take him and his wife on their honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy earlier this summer, sparking an "inquiry" by the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General, sources tell ABC News. Officials familiar with the matter say the highly unusual ask for a U.S. Air Force jet, which according to an Air Force spokesman could cost roughly $25,000 per hour to operate, was put in writing by the secretary's office but eventually deemed unnecessary after further consideration of by Treasury Department officials.

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Mnuchin, an independently wealthy former Goldman Sachs banker, has already triggered a review of his travel for using government jet to travel to Louisville and Fort Knox, Kentucky last month. The inspector general is reviewing whether he improperly used that trip to catch a prime view of the solar eclipse with his wife, a Scottish actress and model named Louise Linton. ...

Meanwhile, Mnuchin's wife managed to stir her own controversy surrounding that August trip to Kentucky when she lashed out at a stranger on Instagram, an incident for which she later issued a public apology.

"Aw! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Did you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol."

Two people familiar with the matter say Linton was not aware that her husband had requested government travel for their honeymoon before making that comment.

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Drain the swamp into the White House.

#1 | Posted by 726 at 2017-09-13 08:17 PM | Reply

Have you seen what they've done to the legroom in Supremo Magnifico Double Kozmik Star class these days? I mean, really!? Grifting the Air Force is a small price to pay for you little people to know that we swamp dwellers are comfortable.
~ Marie Antoinette Minutian-Mnuchin

#2 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2017-09-13 09:19 PM | Reply

Mnuchin should be fired. If Trump's goal was to drain the swamp, then Mnuchin's presence is an embarrassment.

#3 | Posted by moder8 at 2017-09-14 05:29 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"You can't blame him for asking!"

#4 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-14 05:30 PM | Reply

This thread is WAY overdue for a deflection.

#5 | Posted by cbob at 2017-09-14 05:42 PM | Reply

Here's your deflection...

www.ibtimes.com

"And for those trips, often multi-nation jaunts over several days, Geithner travels like other top government officials: on a government jet. Typically the Treasury secretary flies on a Boeing C-40 Clipper, an Air Force version of the popular 737 jetliner, seating just a few dozen and with the range to cross the Atlantic nonstop from Andrews Air Force Base, just outside DC."

Overseas travel by top cabinet members is SOP. I suspect top government officials don't actually have personal time where they are completely disconnected from their government jobs. I also don't have much of an issue with top government officials flying government planes for personal use or otherwise. I read somewhere annual travel expenses for Congressional flights was something like $20M a year for commercial flights, including all the Congress critters staff as well. Also read the military doesn't break down cost specifically for Congress and other top government officials use of government owned planes. And I frankly don't care. It can't be more than a couple hundred million.

Time is the most valuable resource we have. I'm all for whatever makes the most efficient use of government officials time for the most part. Airfare doesn't even move the needle a fraction of a percent in relation to the federal budget. But that's just me. We have the GAO who manages and approves these requisitions, let them do their job. Squabbling over administration costs that affect 0.005% of the US budget seems like a waste of time. It's more of a partisan issue IMO.

#6 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-14 06:31 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

Here's your deflection...

www.ibtimes.com

"And for those trips, often multi-nation jaunts over several days, Geithner travels like other top government officials: on a government jet.

#6 | Posted by gavaster

Was geithner using the jet for a honeymoon with his new trophy wife?

Try again.

#7 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-09-14 06:56 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#7 - Speak

CBOB asked for a deflection. I obliged. Just providing a service. :)

And as I said, bigger fish to fry than trying to trim the fat off something that costs you and I something like $1 a year. The defense budget is costing me about $3,000 a year. Let's start cutting some of that out of the budget before we get down to squabbling over a politician's flight requisition. The GAO makes sure this is all legit and necessary, and they actually denied/Mnuchin rescinded the request. I think the efficiency of time for government officials outweighs the cost of flying them around on government jets. They have about 5475 waking hours a year to do their job. On a strictly cost value basis I'd say saving a politician who flies 20 times a year and spends an extra 60-100 hours in the airport flying commercial that could be saved on a government plane is worth the investment. We're saving them 2% of their time a year, that's worth the 0.005% of the budget we spend. That's just me.

#8 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-14 07:51 PM | Reply

"I think the efficiency of time for government officials outweighs the cost of flying them around on government jets."

Their time is just as efficient if they fly coach.

Your cost is a lot less if they fly coach. Or even if they fly business class, which Senior Executive Service might be allowed to do.

#9 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-14 09:14 PM | Reply

CBOB asked for a deflection. I obliged.

Twice.

#10 | Posted by REDIAL at 2017-09-14 09:15 PM | Reply

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What is the value of a congressman's time? Speeches by famous authors, celebrities, and presidents can be in the 100's of thousands of dollars for a 30 min speech. Luncheons with business leaders sometimes sell for millions when coupled with a charitable cause. I think the time of someone like the SOT who's actions influences not just a $4T country's budget but also have global implications is worth saving.

#11 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-14 09:32 PM | Reply

Make it 3 Redial.

#12 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-14 09:33 PM | Reply

"What is the value of a congressman's time?"

When he's on his honeymoon?
Zero.

#13 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-14 09:38 PM | Reply

"Time is the most valuable resource we have."

Then he shouldn't be taking a honeymoon in the first place.

And he certainly shouldn't be asking for the taxpayers to charter an aircraft for his honeymoon, since that takes up $25,000 worth of other people's time and money.

I don't think you're actually arguing in good faith here...

#14 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-14 09:42 PM | Reply

#14 - I don't want the advisor of monetary policy to the President on 24 hour delay during a financial crisis.

I have a friend who is a computer security expert. He gets paid a couple hundred g's to sit at home 4 days a week. He checks in for a few hours on Friday. Other than that, he's playing with the kids, helping out friends, etc. But when ---- hits the fan and the network goes down he is in the office and has them back up and running in no time, saving the company tons of money in potential lost resources. Having him on call 24/7 is important enough they pay him to sit a home. That's how I see high level cabinet members, except Mnuchin is advising the President on a $4T company.

#15 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-14 10:32 PM | Reply

Make it 3 Redial.

I'll give you 3 deflections and a meaningless anecdote.

#16 | Posted by REDIAL at 2017-09-14 10:39 PM | Reply

"#14 - I don't want the advisor of monetary policy to the President on 24 hour delay during a financial crisis. "

Good thing Alexander Graham Bell is a name you've heard of, then,

#17 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-14 11:02 PM | Reply

"That's how I see high level cabinet members, except Mnuchin is advising the President on a $4T company."

This is about a honeymoon, sugar ----.

#18 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-14 11:02 PM | Reply

#16 - Then my job here is done. :-)

#19 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-14 11:03 PM | Reply

#17 - Maybe you missed the part about the need for secure comms between high level cabinet members and the President, the hotel bedside phone doesn't quite cut it. Can't remember if this article mentions it or it was in my research.

#20 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-14 11:06 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#18 - I know the analogy is really hard to comprehend but if you squint really hard, stand on your left leg, and hold your arms at a 37* angle it may make sense for you.

Doesn't matter where Mnuchin is or what he's doing it for, in an emergency when the President needs his advise on a time sensitive issue it is worth tax payers money for him to be readily accessible to the President. If you trust Trump to act in a crisis without the advice of a top level cabinet member...maybe you'll be voting for him next election cycle. I don't.

#21 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-14 11:10 PM | Reply

"Maybe you missed the part about the need for secure comms between high level cabinet members and the President"

I guess you are unaware of the existence of the STU phone, then?

#22 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-14 11:10 PM | Reply

"Doesn't matter where Mnuchin is or what he's doing it for, in an emergency when the President needs his advise on a time sensitive issue it is worth tax payers money for him to be readily accessible to the President."

Sure. Put him on the first flight out. Probably leaving within the next few hours. Certainly not going to be any slower than finding an available government-owned aircraft in whatever country he's honeymooning in and flying him back in that.

#23 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-14 11:12 PM | Reply

...in an emergency when the President needs his advise...

This is just Mnuchin. Not Kushner or Ivanka.

#24 | Posted by REDIAL at 2017-09-14 11:30 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

"What is the value of a congressman's time?"

I would say the lowest level McD's employees time is more valuable than any of those ----------.

#25 | Posted by 726 at 2017-09-15 08:03 AM | Reply

"Doesn't matter where Mnuchin is or what he's doing it for, in an emergency when the President needs his advise on a time sensitive issue it is worth tax payers money for him to be readily accessible to the President."

If only we had things that you can put in your pocket and be able to talk to anyone anywhere by typing in a special codes, like 10 numbers, to contact them.

#26 | Posted by 726 at 2017-09-15 08:04 AM | Reply

#8 | Posted by gavaster

You forgot the first bit about it being work related travel and how in the states he flew commercial coach in the deflection or how those policies go back to Bush. Not to mention it didn't mention bringing his wife along... Anyone reading that article would quickly see what a tool Mnuchin is and Trump for letting him get away with it (flying US Government planes in the US).

As for a mere $200 million and the percentage comments - I think everyone needs to remember that when someone mentions trimming worthwhile spending.

#27 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-09-15 09:55 AM | Reply

"What is the value of a congressman's time?"

Considering how much time they actually spend working vs working to raise funds for their parties - not much.

#28 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-09-15 09:58 AM | Reply

#26 | POSTED BY 726

As far as I can tell we don't have secure cellular comm lines for mobile phones for Top Secret clearance level comms, at least the STE and the phased out STU's all seem to be hardline. If you're comfortable with top brass using cell phones you're probably okay with them using personal emails too. Not quite the same.

#29 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-15 10:48 AM | Reply

Criticisms of the Royal Family and their appointed advisors will no longer be tolerated in the United States of Trump.

Yesterday I heard him on NPR giving his explanation for stock market rise, etc. He attributed it all to "Trump." What a f*****g ------- and many of you voted for him. God almighty I'd be embarrassed.

#30 | Posted by danni at 2017-09-15 11:12 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#29 - Correction...I found a mobile STE! Can't find photos of them though. Damned hard to find online. So the need for secure comms was bogus. Noted. I'll email the EIC of the article I read and let them know. Probably why the GAO denied his request. I still prefer US officials to fly private, especially those in the line of succession for the Presidency. Not sure if he's protected by SS or not either.

#31 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-15 11:18 AM | Reply

#27 - GALAXIEPETE

As I've stated, I'd be just fine with them using government flights in the US as well. Especially those in line of the Presidential succession, but also for Congressmen and other top officials. Squabbling over the travel budget isn't something I've ever cared about.

How you spend your time as the SOT or SOS or member of Congress never changes the fact that you are the SOT/SOS or a member of Congress. They don't get to drop their job title the second they leave the office like you and I (mostly) do.

#32 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-15 11:25 AM | Reply

#28 - I'm sure if you had Congressmen keeping a time sheet and documenting how much of their day is spent performing duties related to their office it'd be a bit more than the average 40 hour work week. The time Congress is in session alone takes up a solid 20 (extreme low end) to 35 hours a week.

#33 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-15 11:31 AM | Reply

#33 | POSTED BY GAVASTER

Thank you for wasting an entire thread with absolute nonsense.

#34 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-09-15 12:06 PM | Reply

"Your cost is a lot less if they fly coach. Or even if they fly business class, which Senior Executive Service might be allowed to do."

No one is permitted to fly first-class unless there is a valid reason for doing so, regardless of rank.

"We're saving them 2% of their time a year, that's worth the 0.005% of the budget we spend. That's just me."

The problem is that these jets are low density, high demand assets. When you use your rank to impress your new wife by flying on an aircraft like this, you take it out of service for a senior leader who would actually be using it for business. Some military general was likely pushed to commercial air so that this clown could joint the mile high club with his old lady.

#35 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-09-15 12:37 PM | Reply

#34 - Don't thank me, CBOB asked!

#36 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-15 12:41 PM | Reply

You're setting your sights too low. With all the gymnastics you're going through to sell the idea that it's necessary for Mnuchin to fly via the Air Force, maybe what he shoulda done was to ask Dad to borrow Air Force One.

#37 | Posted by TedBaxter at 2017-09-15 01:05 PM | Reply

#35 - 5th in line to the President. Ranking people in order of importance in government he's pretty close to the top. Squabbling over who's job is more important is an unwinnable argument that's speculative at best.

#38 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-15 01:07 PM | Reply

#37 he's not flying on AF1. Try again.

#39 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-15 01:09 PM | Reply

Business class from reagan National round trip to pretty much anywhere in the world is less than $6,000.

www.thoughtcoDOTcom

replace DOT with a .

simple math says private government jet use costs about $16,000/flight

($11.4M for 697 flights)

#40 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-09-15 02:27 PM | Reply

Gavaster is just arguing to argue.

On the other hand I'm all in favor of Trump cabinet members flying C-130s wherever they go. And just like Trump didn't need eye protection to look at the eclipse, who needs hearing protection for a little airplane ride?

#41 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-15 03:29 PM | Reply

On the other hand I'm all in favor of Trump cabinet members flying C-130s wherever they go. And just like Trump didn't need eye protection to look at the eclipse, who needs hearing protection for a little airplane ride?

#41 | POSTED BY SNOOFY AT 2017-09-15 03:29 PM |

And it is only a coincidence that they share the hold with a whole lot of the heavy sharp pointy things the military likes.

turbulence? We haven't even made it to the eye wall yet

#42 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-09-15 04:30 PM | Reply

"On the other hand I'm all in favor of Trump cabinet members flying C-130s wherever they go."

That's what I was thinking as well. Flying cross-country at 350 mph would be a good way to convince him never to request an AF aircraft again.

#43 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-09-15 04:36 PM | Reply

Nice to see a new(er) DRetorter named Gavaster; healthy to have Russians voice their propaganda directly, instead of using SputnikNews or the Washington Examiner.

#44 | Posted by e1g1 at 2017-09-15 05:30 PM | Reply

#44 - lol I've been around here since Bush Jr's first term. What the hell Russians have to do with executive travel is beyond me.

#45 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-09-15 05:51 PM | Reply

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