When the public first learned about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s trip aboard a (pricey) military jet to tour Fort Knox last August, it didn’t take an astronomer to note the interesting timing of the visit: It fell on the same day as the solar eclipse, and Fort Knox is situated close to the path of totality.
At the time, Mnuchin dismissed any suggestion that the trip might be a taxpayer-funded excursion to watch a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle with his wife. He had no interest in watching the solar eclipse, he explained, because he’s a New Yorker.
“People in Kentucky took this stuff very seriously. Being a New Yorker, I don’t have any interest in watching the eclipse,” Mnuchin said according to the Washington Post.
The big smile on his face as he watched the eclipse with his wife Louise Linton says otherwise. Via FOIA, ThinkProgress has exclusively obtained photographic evidence of his enjoyment.
At the time, the trip raised questions about Mnuchin’s habit of using of pricey chartered aircraft to fly around the country. He reportedly requested to use a military jet for his European honeymoon, and in October, the New York Times reported Mnuchin had flown on military aircraft seven times since March, costing the public $800,000. The flight to Fort Knox cost taxpayers $26,900.25.
Linton touched off her own storm of criticism on this trip after she posted an Instagram photo of her and Mnuchin deplaning in expensive designer clothes, tagging the name-brand labels. She then lashed out at a commenter who criticized her taxpayer-funded trip.
U.S. Mint provided Linton and Mnuchin their glasses.