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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin used $1 million in tax payer cash for luxury travel on military and private planes: report

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An ethics organization in Washington accused US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday of bilking US tax payers by needlessly traveling on military and non-commercial jets to the tune of $1 million last year.

Documents obtained after a freedom of information lawsuit against the Treasury Department showed Mnuchin “apparently abused his access to military and non-commercial aircraft” for business and personal travel, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

A Treasury spokesperson rejected the group’s findings, calling them falsehoods or mischaracterizations.

Mnuchin, a former investment banker and Hollywood producer, came under negative scrutiny in August after he and his wife traveled aboard a government jet to visit the US Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Mnuchin’s wife, the actress Louise Linton, later apologized after lashing out at social media user who had criticized her for advertising the high fashion brands she wore during the trip.

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The couple also agreed to reimburse the government for the costs of her travel.

The following month Mnuchin reportedly requested the use of a military jet during the couple’s European honeymoon — but ultimately did not use the $25,000-per-hour plane.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned in September following media revelations he had also racked up $400,000 in travel bills for chartered flights.

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“From the documents we obtained, it appears Secretary Mnuchin considers first and foremost his own comfort and ease, leaving the protection of taxpayer money at the bottom of his list of priorities,” Anne Weismann, CREW’s chief counsel, said in a statement.

According to CREW, records show that between the spring and fall of last year Mnuchin took eight separate trips by military aircraft at a total cost of $1 million.

Mnuchin has not explained why he has not used commercial air travel, as his predecessors did, Weismann said.

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The Treasury Secretary has said government aircraft allow him to send and receive sensitive national security information while traveling.

A department spokesperson told AFP on Thursday Mnuchin had followed the same approval process for the flights as prior Treasury secretaries.

An inspector general investigation had also reviewed the trips and found “no violation of law, regulation, or ethics requirements,” the spokesperson said.

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“These documents explicitly demonstrate Treasury’s concern for being prudent with taxpayer dollars while fulfilling important departmental responsibilities.”


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Jeffrey Epstein’s IT consultant reveals he saw girls who ‘couldn’t have more than 15 or 16’ on private island

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ABC News broke a story just after midnight Thursday about a former IT consultant of Jeffrey Epstein's who resigned because he couldn't take the "extensive" collection of topless women photos displayed throughout Epstein's island compound.

The island, which has been called "pedophile island" by locals, had "topless women everywhere.

"There were photos of topless women everywhere," said contractor Steve Scully, who began working for Epstein in 1999 and continued for six years. "On his desk, in his office, in his bedroom."

Scully, who is a father of three girls, called the island "Little St. James," though near St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Stephen Colbert mocks Eric Trump in a way that must be seen to be believed

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Stephen Colbert mocked Eric Trump so badly it has to be seen to be believed.

The moment came after Colbert played a clip of the young Trump child saying that 95 percent of the United States supports him, the camera cut to Colbert doing his Eric impression.

"I've got big gums, and I cannot lie," Colbert said.

"Yeah, 95, guys, I'm tellin' ya," Colbert said, pretending to be Eric with his lips curled up.

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Black Pennsylvania Trump voter wonders if he’s still welcome in the GOP

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Tuesday, CNN released interviews with Texas Trump supporters who defended his racist attacks on four Congresswomen of color. Wednesday night, Van Jones showed his panel of supporters of both President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama. But things got tense when a Black Trump supporter was asked about the president's racially charged statements.

Two men, one white one Black, in the group said they supported Trump and probably would again because business was good. Two women in the group lamented that Trump's racism was hurtful for the country.

"I just go back to values," the older women said. "I value treating people with dignity. And if there is anything that is incongruent with those values, then I'm not for that. So I'm not going to put profit over my values."

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