Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday acknowledged that he did initially request a government plane to travel to his honeymoon in Europe, but he said he only did so because he needed access to secure communications while abroad.
“I’m very sensitive to the use of government funds,” Mnuchin said Thursday at an event held by Politico. “I’ve never asked the government to pay for my personal travel, and this was purely about alternatives of how I’d be able to be involved for national security.”
Mnuchin said that he canceled his request for the plane after he found another solution for accessing secure communications.
The Treasury Department also said Thursday that Mnuchin requested a government plane so he could access secure communications.
“It is imperative that he have access to secure communications, and it is our practice to consider a wide range of options to ensure he has these capabilities during his travel, including the possible use of military aircraft,” a spokesman for the department said in a statement.
ABC News was first to report Wednesday that Mnuchin requested a government plane for his honeymoon trip with wife Louise Linton.
The report followed the couple’s trip to Kentucky in August on a government plane. Mnuchin attended a local chamber of commerce luncheon on the trip, but he and Linton also traveled to Fort Knox to view the eclipse.