Steve Mnuchin looked like a fool on CNN's State of The Union today trying to defend Trump's illegal abuse of power in asking Ukraine to investigate Biden. Just like Giuliani before him, Mnuchin said one thing and then contradicted it immediately after.
Trump's Treasury Secretary lied and gaslighted throughout his interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, when talking about Trump berating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden. Instead he only wanted to talk about the situation with Iran.
When host Jake Tapper began to discuss this new blockbuster story, Mnuchin downplayed it as pure speculation even after it has been confirmed by the New York Times, The Washington Post and most notably the Wall Street Journal.
"I think you're speculating on what the president said," he said. Then he called into question Biden's son. "So I really think the -- the real issue is not what the president said, but what, indeed, did Biden's son do?" The only reason this is important is that it can have an impact on the 2020 election if Biden is the nominee, and Mnuchin knows this.
When confronted again by Tapper about Trump's attempts to coerce the Ukrainian president to do his bidding, he asked if Trump set his own and very dangerous and illegal precedent. "Is it the position of the administration that it is acceptable for politicians to pressure foreign leaders to look into and investigate their political rivals?" Tapper asked.
Mnuchin clammed up and said, "As I said, I wasn't on the call."
When Mnuchin was asked if the White House should just release the transcript of the call if what they are saying is the truth, Mnuchin claimed it was a terrible idea. Any form of transparency with Donald Trump and his administration is deemed off-limits. "I think would be a terrible precedent. Conversations between world leaders are meant to be confidential," Mnuchin stated.
Not if the president is committing a crime.
And then Tapper turned him into a puddle of goo.
Tapper asked, "If, for instance, President Obama had pressured a foreign leader, Putin or the president of Ukraine, anyone, and said, I want you to look into Donald Trump Jr. or I want you to look into Eric Trump, international businessmen, both of them, would you not find that inappropriate?"
Mnuchin dodged saying, "Again, I'm not going to speculate on that." Then he launched into an attack similar to Rudy Giuliani's insane rant that Joe Biden and his son should be investigated, again. "What I do find inappropriate is the fact that Vice President Biden at the time's son did very significant business dealings in Ukraine. I, for one, find that to be concerning. And, to me, that is the issue perhaps that should be further investigated."
This confused Tapper, "I don't understand."
He continued, "So it is OK for Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump Jr. to do business all over the world, it's OK for Ivanka Trump to have copyrights approved all over the world while President Trump is president, but while Vice President Joe Biden was vice president, his son shouldn't have been able to do business dealings?"
Steve replied, "Again, I don't -- I don't really want to go into more of these details, other than to say..."
"Well, you're just setting a precedent that the president is violating," Tapper said.
Mnuchin tried to gaslight his previous reply and saying, "Again, I think there is a significant difference in what you're saying, OK, or what I was saying between Biden and his son's relationship with the Ukraine oligarch and potential business dealings that the Trump Organization has had which predated his presidency."
There is no justification for Trump or any U.S. president to coerce or demand a foreign leader to dig up dirt on their political rivals. And when does a presidential lawyer fly to a foreign country and try to instigate an investigation into a rival? Especially after said country already dismissed it.
To me, that should not be covered under confidentiality since Rudy's not acting as a lawyer, but as a political operative.