Many executive officials seem okay with spending public money on personal expenses, but how would they react if Hillary Clinton were doing it?
.. But if ever there were a crew less suited to drain the swamp in Washington, the Trump team would have to be it.
.. Remember Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price? You may not, since his tenure was less than nine months long. But in that time, according to Politico, he ran up $400,000 in private-plane trips and $500,000 for military flights to Asia, Africa, and Europe.
.. There were also questions raised about his private investment in a company that stood to benefit from his public action.
.. Steven Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton jetted off to Kentucky last August on a government plane to (depending upon whom you believe): do Treasury business or view the solar eclipse.
.. The couple also apparently requested a military plane for their honeymoon trip to Europe.
.. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin also took his wife to Europe for a ten-day trip.
.. Environment Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, reports the Washington Post, is also being investigated for “at least four noncommercial and military flights
.. I find it hard to think of an EPA emergency that would require Scott Pruitt to fly on a military jet
.. the complicated web of loans and investments and connections Jared Kushner brought with him to the swamp
.. one of the reasons his security clearance was downgraded this week involved accepting loans from a private equity billionaire named Joshua Harris.
Scott Pruitt, the champion of fossil fuel interests who is busily trying to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency, and his aides have made the ludicrous argument in recent days that he must fly first class because he is not safe in economy. This has elicited howls of laughter from aviation experts.
.. Mr. Pruitt and his staff have racked up a tab totaling many thousands of dollars for domestic and international trips, including $1,641 for a brief flight from Washington to New York. Mr. Pruitt told The New Hampshire Union Leader that he has to travel in the front of the cabin because people in coach are mean to him. “We’ve reached the point where there’s not much civility in the marketplace, and it’s created, you know, it’s created some issues,” he said.
.. David Shulkin, last week struggled to explain why the government spent $4,000 to fly his wife to Europe
.. the happy couple spent nearly half the trip checking out sites like Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen and Buckingham Palace in London
.. Dr. Shulkin said he was repaying the Treasury for the cost of his wife’s ticket, though not before producing an unusual 28-page rebuttal to the inspector general’s report.
.. Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, his wife, Louise Linton, and their penchant for traveling on military planeswhen far cheaper options are available.
.. Trump appointees like Tom Price, the former health and human services secretary, and Brenda Fitzgerald, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who have had to bail out of the administration because of scrutiny they were under for expensive air travel (Mr. Price) and dubious investments (Dr. Fitzgerald).
Ivanka and her husband holding hands as they stride across electric-green grass at the G-20 summit; her kids ascending the crimson staircase of Air Force One. What’s notable is that Ivanka, like Linton, often does not procedurally belong in the settings where she is photographed; there is an undercurrent of White-House-as-life-style-blog-prop. Nonetheless, these images seem ordinary when viewed without context.
.. Great #daytrip to #Kentucky!” Linton wrote. “#nicest #people #beautiful #countryside #rolandmouret pants #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf #valentinorockstudheels #valentino #usa.” This is an unsubtle caption, drawing on a type of hashtag-saturated social-media syntax that I associate both with discount-clothing retailers attempting to optimize their search results and aimless individual souls hoping to catalogue their membership in some tribe. Charitably, we could assume that Linton was writing in the latter spirit, registering herself as a lover of the #daytrip, of #people and #beautiful #countryside—a sister to all who love #tomford sunglasses and #valentino heels.
.. In a few aggrieved sentences, Linton managed to frame her husband’s three-hundred-million-dollar net worth as a burden, her six months in Washington as harrowing public servitude, and an ordinary American as a contemptible member of the economic underclass. She punctuated this bit with two emoji, a flexed bicep and a kissy face, which were meant to convey nonchalance but instead communicated a type of strained, hierarchical female fury that I have not witnessed in person since cheerleading camp, in 2005.
.. Linton, who spent part of her childhood in her family’s castle in Scotland and once gave an interview to Town & Country about her twelve-piece suite of wedding jewelry, cemented her appearance as an appropriate partner for Mnuchin, whose company OneWest earned him the nickname “Foreclosure King.”
.. The two fiascoes are twin parables, really—each one illustrates how a desire for reverence leads easily to ridicule, and how, when you visibly strain to perform your identity for an audience, the audience often rebels. The trouble with a manufactured self-image is that it requires onlookers for confirmation.
Linton set off a firestorm Monday when she posted a shot of herself stepping off a government plane in Kentucky ahead of her husband, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The photo showed her draped in luxury brands, which she proceeded to name in a caption and tag in the image. Since Linton’s account was public, a stranger — an Oregon mother of three named Jennifer Miller – was able to comment on the post, writing, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway.” Linton turned what was already likely a PR headache into a full-blown migraine by snapping back:
“Aww!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours. You’re adorably out of touch. Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment… Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!”