Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently appeared before the House Financial Services committee chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to discuss his plans to respond to Democrats demanding the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns, CNN reports. Mnuchin put in a late request to leave the hearing early because of a meeting, a move Waters didn’t appreciate.
Though she made it clear he was free to leave whenever he wanted, Waters asked him if he’d be willing to stay until the predetermined time of 5:30 p.m. so that all committee members would have time to question him. At that point, a visibly irritated Mnuchin responded, “If you’d wish to keep me here so I don’t have my important meeting, and continue to grill me, then we can do that. I will cancel my meeting, and I will not be back here.”
Waters immediately took him up on his offer, which he then disputed, essentially implying he was being sarcastic.
“You made me an offer. I accepted,” said Waters. “I did not make you an offer, let’s be clear,” Mnuchin complained in response. “You’re instructing me, you’re ordering me to stay here.”
Waters told him again that he was free to leave, to which he responded, “Please dismiss everybody. I believe you are supposed to take the gravel [sic] and bang it.”
The Democratic leader responded to the condescending line with, “Please do not instruct me as to how I am to conduct this committee.”
Waters and Mnuchin also bumped heads in 2017 during an exchange resulting in the birth of Waters’ “reclaiming my time” moment.