News, Culture & Society

Mnuchin’s wife pays for her own Middle East plane travel

Louise Linton is traveling throughout the Middle East this week with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, her husband, but taxpayers aren’t footing the bill for her portion of the trip.

A Treasury Department spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Thursday that Mnuchin ‘is reimbursing the government for Mrs. Linton’s travel’ – likely paying the equivalent cost of a commercial ticket – to four countries on Mnuchin’s itinerary.

Mnuchin was in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and Wednesday, and spent Thursday in Israel. Next on the schedule are the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

In Jerusalem, Mnuchin and Linton visited the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial for a wreath-laying ceremony, along with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Mnuchin is Jewish.

High life: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin took his wife Louise Linton to the Middle East this week (shown left with U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman (right) and his wife

Mnuchin and Linton, shown laying a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on Thursday, are not making taxpayers foot the bill for Linton's share of the government plane ride

Mnuchin and Linton, shown laying a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on Thursday, are not making taxpayers foot the bill for Linton’s share of the government plane ride

Mnuchin was in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to announce a raft of terror-related economic sanctions meant to cripple ISIS in Yemen

Mnuchin was in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to announce a raft of terror-related economic sanctions meant to cripple ISIS in Yemen

Following an uproar last month over the use of private and government aircraft by President Donald Trump’s cabinet members – a mini-scandal that cost Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price his job – Treasury’s inspector general reviewed Mnuchin’s official travel history.

The brief investigation found ‘no violation of law,’ but said the Treasury Department should have explained in greater detail why Mnuchin couldn’t travel on commercial flights for eight specific trips.

The total cost of flying Mnuchin and his staff reached $800,000, largely because a U.S. Treasury secretary has to have access to secure communications equipment at all times.

That generally rules out all but government-owned planes, a detail that also led to Mnuchin briefly requesting approval to use a government plane for his Scotland honeymoon earlier this year.

In Jerusalem on Thursday, Linton visited the Shalva National Children's Center, a facility for kids with disabilities

In Jerusalem on Thursday, Linton visited the Shalva National Children’s Center, a facility for kids with disabilities

The Shalva center's Facebook page provided pictures of Linton high-fiving and hugging children

The Shalva center’s Facebook page provided pictures of Linton high-fiving and hugging children

That request was withdrawn when it was determined that there was another way for the White House to provide for secure communications.

This week’s Middle East tour was one of the trips covered in the inspector general report, issued October 4. At that point, there was no indication that Mnuchin had planned to travel with his wife.

The trip’s ‘proposed manifest,’ submitted to White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Joe Hagin, listed Mnuchin plus ‘nine Treasury and two non-Treasury officials, ten Secret Service, and seven media.’ 

The delegation is flying on a C-40, the military’s version of a Boeing 737 aircraft. 

Hagin granted authority for the trip as a ‘White House support mission,’ citing bilateral meetings and press conferences with government officials and participation in roundtables with business leaders.

A brief public outcry accompanied photos of Linton and Mnuchin emerging from a government plane in August after landing in Kentucky. 

Linton outed herself by posting an Instagram photo in which she tagged her designer outfit, a mix of high-end brands that included Tom Ford, Valentino, Roland Mouret and Hermes.

She also added hashtags for various pieces of her expensive wardrobe, listing #rolandmouret, #hermesscarf, #tomford and #valentino.’

Jennifer Miller, a working mother with three children, called Linton ‘deplorable’ in the comment section, writing: ‘Glad we could pay for your little getaway.’

Linton exploded in an online tirade for which she later apologized.

‘Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband?’ she asked. ‘Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?’

Uber-wealth: Linton was seen wearing $30,000 worth of clothing as Mnuchin pushed their bags in Edinburgh at the start of their honeymoon

Uber-wealth: Linton was seen wearing $30,000 worth of clothing as Mnuchin pushed their bags in Edinburgh at the start of their honeymoon

Not a good look: Linton got into hot water for lashing out at a woman on Instagram by bragging about her wealth and pricey wardrobe

Not a good look: Linton got into hot water for lashing out at a woman on Instagram by bragging about her wealth and pricey wardrobe

The Middle East trip’s first public achievement was an announcement Wednesday in Riyadh that the U.S. and its Arab allies in the Persian Gulf region are coordinating their efforts to sanction nine Yemenis and two Yemeni entities suspected of financing al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Mnuchin called the sanctions list ‘the largest ever multilateral designation in the Middle East.’

In addition to the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain all signed on.

The move is the first outward sign of success from the U.S.- and Saudi-led Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, which President Trump helped launch in Riyadh in May.

Specifically targeted is Abu Sulayman al-Adani, the overall leader of the growing ISIS terror army in Yemen.

It also includes alleged ISIS assassinations chief Radwan Muhammad Husayn Ali Qanan and top ISIS financier and arms dealer Sayf Abdulrab Salem al-Hayashi.

Sanctions are also being applied who a chain of supermarkets owned by al-Hayashi.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.