Mnuchin Breaks With White House, Calls On Congress To Address Gun Violence

Thursday, February 15, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Thu, 02/15/2018

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called on Congress Thursday to address issues related to gun violence less than 24 hours after 17 people were murdered in a Florida school shooting.

“I will say, personally, I think the gun violence its a tragedy what weve seen yesterday, and I urge Congress to look at these issues,” said Mnuchin, while addressing a question from Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing about whether Trump’s new budget addressed gun violence.

While Mnuchin first stumbled through his response, “Um, I, I don’t, I’m not aware of that level of detail in the budget for me to be the expert to attest on that,” he then shifted into his personal views on the matter when he asked Congress to look into the issue of gun violence.

A spokesman for the Treasury, Tony Sayegh, told Politico that Mnuchin’s testimony was taken out of context:

Instead, according to a Treasury official, Mnuchin was referring to whether there was money in the federal budget to examine the proliferation of mass shootings in the United States, not whether Congress should consider new gun control laws.

Secretary Mnuchin was directly addressing Congressman [John] Lewis question about availability of funds in the budget to address the issue of gun violence. He also reflected the feelings shared by all Americans that yesterdays school shooting was a profound tragedy, said Treasury spokesman Tony Sayegh.

While Mnuchin is notably the first senior official in the Trump administration to suggest Congress look into “these issues,” one should note that the former Goldman alum turned Hollywood financier may be one of the more liberal members of Trump’s cabinet – having contributed heavily to Democrats prior to the 2016 election, including the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama.

Mnuchin also worked for SFM Capital, a firm backed by billionaire George Soros – who is known for bankrolling liberal causes such as gun control. Mnuchin told Bloomberg News that his Democratic donations were mostly done as favors to Democrat friends.

Whatever the case, it appears that Mnuchin may catch a little flack from both sides on this one.

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