House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin‘s spat over a trivial matter of how long the secretary should testify for evolved into an intense heated exchange in which both questioned the respect they were given.
After three hours of the meeting, Mnuchin still hadn’t been questioned by multiple Republican and Democratic House members but asked to leave anyway, insisting he had a meeting.
Waters asked Mnuchin to stay and finish the questioning or come back to a subsequent meeting next month. Mnuchin wasn’t happy.
“If you’d wish to keep me here so that 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,” Mnuchin said.
“Thank you,” Waters replied. “The gentleman, the secretary has agreed to stay to hear all of the rest of the members, please cancel your meeting and respect our time.”
Mnuchin, however, was thrown off by Waters’ response and clearly didn’t expect the congresswoman to take his offer seriously.
Mnuchin argued multiple times that the California congresswoman was “ordering” and “instructing” him to stay at the hearing.
Each time, Waters told Mnuchin that he was free to leave.
“Please dismiss everybody,” Mnuchin eventually responded. “I believe you’re supposed to take the [gavel] and bang it.”
Waters was visibly taken aback by his comment.
“Please do not instruct me as to how I’m to conduct this committee,” she shot back.
Watch the video below:
In testy exchange, Rep. Maxine Waters tells Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, "no other secretary has ever told us the day before that they were going to limit their time."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 9, 2019
Mnuchin eventually gave in to Waters and stayed 30 minutes later than he asked to, and he agreed to come again before the committee next month.