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Mnuchin being investigated for taking government plane to watch solar eclipse at Fort Knox

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is now under investigation from the Treasury Department’s inspector general for taking a taxpayer-funded flight down to Kentucky last month so he could watch the solar eclipse from the roof of Fort Knox.

Treasury Department Inspector General counsel Rich Delmar tells the Washington Post that the office is “reviewing the circumstances of the Secretary’s August 21 flight… to determine whether all applicable travel, ethics, and appropriation laws and policies were observed.”

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Although Trump administration officials defended the trip as “official government travel” that was worthy of a flight on an Air Force jet, the main purpose of the trip seems to have been an opportunity to watch the solar eclipse from the rooftop at Fort Knox, the famous Army post in Northern Kentucky where America’s largest stash of gold reserves is stored.

During the trip, Mnuchin also attended a luncheon at the Louisville Chamber of Commerce with his wife, Louise Linton.

“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,” a Treasury spokesperson tells the Post. “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.”


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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.

The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.

It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

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GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report

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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.

Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.

"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."

Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.

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White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.

CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."

Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.

https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1218704788432572422

Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.

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