Steve Mnuchin on eclipse trip: New Yorkers didn't care about it

Mnuchin's acting like he's too important to care about the eclipse, which he was sorta watching

Published September 15, 2017 9:37AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Steve Mnuchin wants to clarify a few things about his use of a private jet. First of all, he didn't want to have a government jet take him and his wife to Fort Knox so that they could watch the eclipse, because the majestic beauty of the heavens in all their glory is way too boring for an Upper East Sider.

“People in Kentucky took this stuff very seriously. Being a New Yorker, I don’t have any interest in watching the eclipse,” he said.

During a Politico summit, Mnuchin clarified, saying just how annoying watching the event — which enthralled the nation — was to him, a New Yorker.

We got there, I was like, 'Really? I don't have any interest in watching the eclipse.' We never went on the roof, I didn't even stay for the optimal time — I watched the roof, 15 minutes ahead of time. I put on the glasses, they're like paper glasses. I'm like, 'I'm worried I'm going to get my eyes burned out.' I put it on for like two seconds. That was the end of my interest in the eclipse.

To clarify: Mnuchin was at Fort Knox on eclipse day — very near the path of totality, no less — and admitted to putting on eclipse glasses and looking at the sun.

Something isn't making sense.

Mnuchin also clarified that he didn't ask the government to use a private jet for his honeymoon — he merely wanted one to use during it. But he obfuscated on Twitter, saying merely that he didn't fly on a private jet.

That doesn't mean he didn't ask about it. Mnuchin told Politico that using a private jet "was purely about alternatives of how I'd be able to be involved for national security." 

Mnuchin admitted at a Politico event that use of a private plane during his honeymoon was merely one of the "alternatives" that was "considered" — and the private jet option was struck down because the Treasury Department was able to find a way for him to communicate securely with the rest of the world.

See, the reasoning is this: The Treasury Department has said that Mnuchin's preference for private jets was due to his perceived need to have "uninterrupted access to secure communications," a spokesperson told the Post.

In June, Mnuchin's staff was able to find "a secure communications option," according to a statement, and it didn't involve a private jet. But in September, a day-long trip to go a few hundred miles did.

Walter Shaub, the former government ethics chief, asked the most pressing question: "When you paid for your wife to travel with you to Ft. Knox, did you pay the equivalent of one coach fare or half the cost of the flight?"

By Jeremy Binckes

MORE FROM Jeremy Binckes

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Eclipse Fort Knox Steve Mnuchin Treasury Department