In the wake of Donald Trump’s selection of Steve Mnunchin as Secretary of the Treasury in his forthcoming administration, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts issued a joint statement condemning the pick. They write:
During the campaign, Donald Trump told the American people that he was going to change Washington by taking on Wall Street. Donald Trump’s choice for Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, is just another Wall Street insider. That is not the type of change that Donald Trump promised to bring to Washington—that is hypocrisy at its worst. After his bank pocketed billions in taxpayer dollars from the bailout, Mnuchin moved on to make a fortune running another bank that aggressively foreclosed on families still reeling from the crisis. This pick makes clear that Donald Trump wants to cater to the same Wall Street executives that have hurt working families time and again.
The statement refers to Mnuchin’s 17-year history at Goldman Sachs, as well as his time as chair of OneWest, a bank that was referred to as a “foreclosure machine.” Though not mentioned by Sanders and Warren, Mnuchin has also said that he plans on stripping back the Dodd-Frank Act, the regulatory bill passed in the wake of the 2007 financial crisis to prevent predatory lending practices, which Sanders voted for in 2010 and which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency Warren lobbied for and helped establish.
Trump’s selection of Mnuchin, who, like Trump, has no political experience, has drawn particular condemnation in light of Trump’s frequent criticisms of Hillary Clinton for giving paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. As many have pointed out, Trump’s rallying cry of “Drain the swamp” doesn’t seem to have been heeded as he puts together his administration. It’s almost as if Trump’s a pathological liar who said whatever he had to during the campaign in order to rile up his disgruntled conservative base and get himself elected.
Read the senators’ full statement here.