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Mnuchin: Request for government plane 'purely about national security'

Mnuchin: Request for government plane 'purely about national security'
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Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE on Thursday defended his request to use a government plane for his honeymoon in June, casting the inquiry as a national security matter.

"I probably spend about 50 percent of my time on national security issues, on sanctions," Mnuchin said at a Politico Live event. "We're dealing with, as you know, some of the most complicated issues right now."

"Effectively it was a portable office so that I could be available," he added. "This had nothing to do with convenience. This was purely about national security."

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Mnuchin said the story was "misreported" by the media, and said that the request was withdrawn after he consulted with his staff on alternative ways to ensure access to secure communications and information. 

Mnuchin is a member of the National Security Council and oversees the Treasury Department's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

The revelation that Mnuchin asked to use a military plane for his lavish European honeymoon came as the treasury secretary faces scrutiny over his use of a government plane during a trip to Kentucky last month. 

Mnuchin's wife, actress Louise Linton, sparked a public furor after that trip when she chided a woman on Instagram who had accused Linton of flashing her wealth while traveling to a poor part of the country.