US TREASURY Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested a military jet to fly him and his Scots wife, Louise Linton, to their European honeymoon this summer, raising questions again about the wealthy couple's use of government aircraft.
A Treasury Department spokesman said the request was made so that Mnuchin, who is a member of the National Security Council, would have access to secure communications as he travelled abroad.
He said: “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.”
The department withdrew its request “after a secure communications option was identified during the Secretary's extended travel.”
An Air Force spokesman told ABC News, which first reported the story, that the jet would cost $25,000 an hour to operate, though it is unclear if that included costs like maintenance and fuel. Government workers and troops on travel typically accrue costs for food and lodging.
It is also unknown which aircraft was proposed or what command the pilot would have been pulled from. Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington maintains a fleet of C-37As, the military equivalent of the Gulfstream V, for executive travel.
Mnuchin and Edinburgh-born Ms Linton married in Juneand honeymooned in Scotland, Italy and France.
Last month, Mnuchin and Linton took a government aircraft to Kentucky on a trip that involved viewing the solar eclipse, drawing wide condemnation and accusations that the former Goldman Sachs banker and Hollywood producer was using public funds for potentially voluntary travel as Trump seeks to rein in government waste.
The Kentucky trip ended within miles of the path of totality, the narrow band across the United States where the moon totally blotted out the sun during the solar eclipse. Mnuchin viewed it from one of the most restricted sites in the world: Fort Knox.
Treasury officials have defended Mnuchin’s Kentucky visit as “official government travel” worthy of the flight aboard an Air Force jet.
A spokesman said: “The Secretary of the Treasury at times needs to use a government aircraft to facilitate his travel schedule and to ensure uninterrupted access to secure communications.
"The Department of the Treasury sought and received the appropriate approval from the White House. Secretary Mnuchin has reimbursed the government for the cost of Ms. Linton’s travel in accordance with the long-standing policy regarding private citizens on military aircraft.”
Linton, an actress, drew intense scrutiny after she posted an Instagram glamour shot of herself  getting off a plane and tagged a host of high-end designers such as Hermes and Valentino in the photo, then called a critic who was offended at the idea of publicly funded travel “adorably out of touch.”
Linton later apologised
Educated first at St George's School for Girls and then at Fettes College – two of Edinburgh's most exclusive independent schools – she lost her mother to breast cancer in 1995.
She spent part of her childhood at Melville Castle, actually an 18th-century James Playfair-designed house near Dalkeith which her father bought and renovated over a decade from 1991. 
The family home was then, and still is, a large house in Edinburgh's well-heeled Murrayfield district. She has two older siblings, David and Suzanne. 
In May, the Herald reported how actress Ms Linton had become one of Hollywood’s most powerful women as head of a US studio.
The production and finance company, who have backed dozens of movies including Avatar, was founded by her husband.
He quit as CEO after being appointed as Donald’s Trump’s US Treasury Secretary.
She previously attracted controversy and was ridiculed after being accused of fabricating near-death experiences in Africa for her memoir.
Senator Ron Wyden (Ore.), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, criticised the recent travel request.
He said: "You don't need a giant rule book of government requirements to just say yourself, 'This is common sense, it's wrong. That's just slap-your-forehead stuff.”
Rich Delmar, counsel to the inspector general, said: “The Office of the Treasury Inspector General is reviewing all requests for and use of government aircraft.”

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