Ryan Zinke, the interior secretary, used a chartered airplane for several flights, including a $12,000 trip to deliver a speech celebrating a new professional hockey team in Las Vegas. Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has spent more than $58,000 on chartered and military flights, and David Shulkin, the veterans affairs secretary, took his wife on a 10-day trip to Europe that mixed business meetings and sightseeing, according to The Washington Post.
The Treasury report found no instances in which Mr. Mnuchin used military aircraft for private travel.
Mr. Mnuchin’s air accommodations attracted attention in August after Ms. Linton accompanied him on a trip to Kentucky to visit the gold reserves at Fort Knox and posted on social media a photo of herself disembarking a military jet emblazoned with official government markings.
“Great #day trip to #Kentucky!” Ms. Linton wrote under the photograph. She then added hashtags for various pieces of her expensive wardrobe, listing #rolandmouret, #hermesscarf, #tomford and #valentino. The photo prompted outrage on social media and led to speculation that Mr. Mnuchin had timed the trip and requested the plane so that he could have an optimal view of the solar eclipse, which was occurring that day.
The report found that “there is no indication that the date was chosen to coincide with the solar eclipse.” It said that Mr. Mnuchin had asked for a Gulfstream 550 military jet in case the runway at Fort Knox was wet and because a plane with “communications capabilities is requested in the event that the secretary’s participation on a call during travel arises.” The flight cost $26,900.25.
Treasury secretaries generally take commercial flights except in extenuating circumstances because of the exorbitant costs of using military planes.
For instance, Mr. Mnuchin’s June flight to Miami for a meeting with the Mexican finance minister cost $43,725.50. While the flight was approved, the Treasury Department’s travel office sent a note to Mr. Mnuchin’s assistant that a round-trip commercial flight would cost just $688.
An Aug. 15 trip on a Gulfstream V that Mr. Mnuchin took to see Mr. Trump at Trump Tower in New York to discuss tax reform and tariffs cost $15,112.50. According to an internal email cited by the inspector general, Mr. Mnuchin needed to use the plane so that he could conduct a classified telephone conversation with Rex W. Tillerson, the secretary of state.
Amtrak tickets between New York and Washington can often be had for under $100 each way, though private conversations can and are often overheard.
The inspector general noted that a memo from the Office of Management and Budget issued last week called for more “rigor” in justifying government aircraft requests and expressed concern about the “boilerplate” justifications that the Treasury Department offered.
Democrats assailed Mr. Mnuchin and the Trump administration for wasting taxpayer dollars.
“It’s clear now that this scandal didn’t start or end with former H.H.S. Secretary Tom Price,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. “It’s time for the Trump administration to come clean with the American people and show us what other top officials in this administration have been using the White House as a luxury travel agency.”
For its part, the Treasury Department took solace in the fact that no violations were found and emphasized Mr. Mnuchin’s need for secure communications.
“We appreciate the inspector general’s thorough review of Treasury’s travel requests, which identified no violation of law, regulation or ethics requirements in connection with the department’s requests,” a Treasury Department spokeswoman said.