Mnuchin: Joke About 'Lego Batman Movie' Was Mistake
01:11, Apr 2, 2017
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"So I just want to have the legal disclosure that you've asked me the question and I am not promoting any product", he said.
During last week's interview, the secretary initially declined to give his preference for his favorite movie and acknowledged as a cabinet member he wasn't "allowed to promote anything that I'm involved in".
Lego Batman is so far the third-highest grossing film of 2017, having taken in US$171.7 million (S$24.7 million) since opening last month, according to Box Office Mojo.
Mnuchin was an executive producer of the top-grossing movie, which has made nearly $172 million worldwide since it was released on February 10.
Earlier this week, Senator Ron Wyden of OR, a Democrat and the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics arguing that, because Mnuchin has not provided any evidence of divesting himself from the production company Ratpac-Dune Entertainment (which he promised to do within four months of being confirmed), he had no reason to assume that Mnuchin hadn't still profited from publicly encouraging people to see the movie. "I should not have made that statement". His company, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, financed the film.
Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, asked the Office of Government Ethics this week to review Mnuchin's comments. In a statement this week, Wyden said "Secretary Mnuchin's remarks signal a blatant disregard and disrespect to the office he serves and the power it holds". But because Mnuchin apologized and promised to be more cautious going forward, Shaub said he doesn't think further disciplinary action is necessary. That, like Kellyanne Conway's endorsement of Ivanka Trump's fashion line, is a bit of a huge no-no around these parts.
Mnuchin adds that he takes "very seriously my ethical responsibilities as a Presidential appointee and the head of the Department of the Treasury".
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