In a long statement issued by the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin rejected and pushed back against an urging from his former classmates at Yale University that he resign from Donald Trump’s cabinet, while defending the president’s response to last weekend’s deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The statement was in response to a letter posted online on Friday by about 300 of Mnuchin’s classmates from the Yale University undergraduate class of 1985, asking Mnuchin to resign in protest of Trump’s comments. “It is your moral obligation,” they said. “We know you are better than this, and we are counting on you to do the right thing.”
Mnuchin, realizing that with Bannon gone, Trump’s future policies are now a “clean slate” for the Wall Street/MIC complex to rewrite as it sees fit with no internal opposition, disagreed.
“I am writing in response to my Yale Classmates and many other comments I have received urging me to “speak out.” I believe that your letter and these comments raise several Important issues and misconceptions that I am prepared to address”, Mnuchin begins, adding that “some of these issues are far more complicated than we are led to believe by the mass media,’ the former Goldman employee and hedge fund manager said, paraphrasing the Dude’s legendary “lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you’s.”
“As someone who Is Jewish, I believe I understand the long history of violence and hatred against the Jews (and other minorities) and circumstances that give rise to these sentiments and actions. While I find it hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this,
or the president, I feel compelled to let you know that the president
in no way, shape or form believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups
who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in
peaceful and lawful ways.
In his statement Saturday, Mnuchin suggested that Trump’s political opponents, including Republican rivals in last year’s primary campaign, were unfairly seizing on the Charlottesville uproar to “distract the administration” from policy issues. Just like Bannon, Mnuchin’s ties with Trump go back to the summer of 2016, when he first started as Trump’s campaign finance chairman before being named as Treasury secretary; according to the WSJ he has a close personal relationship with the president.
Mnuchin also referenced a broader national dialogue about the legacy of slavery and how historical figures should be remembered.
“Some of these issues are far more complicated than we are led to believe by the mass media, and if it were so simple, such actions would have been taken by other presidents, governors and mayors, long before President Trump was elected by the American people,” Mnuchin wrote.
Meanwhile, seeking to distance himself from the “nationalist” angle of his administration in the aftermath of Bannon’s firing, Trump extended an olive branch to Saturday’s demonstrators, saying that protests can be cathartic as thousands swarmed into downtown Boston on Saturday to speak out against white nationalists.
“Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!” the president said in a pair of tweets. “I want to applaud the many protesters in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!”
And yet, just one hour before lauding Saturday’s protesters, Trump, who’s spending the weekend at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort, was less sympathetic. “Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston. Police are looking tough and smart!” He praised the effort of law enforcement officers and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
Mnuchin isn’t the only ex-Goldmanite who is staying: last week the market turmoiled on speculation that Trump’s top economic adviser and former Goldman COO Gary Cohn, was upset by Trump’s remarks and thinking about quitting. Cohn will remain in his position, a White House official said on Thursday.
With the “globalists” having won decisively the war for Trump’s Inner circle of influence, the markets are eagerly awaiting to see what if any change in tone, rhetoric and policies will be unveiled by the president. With the debt ceiling deadline looming, Trump has little time in which to make a decision what his upcoming pivot will look like.
Mnuchin’s full letter is below.