Steve Mnuchin Wants Everyone to Know It Was His Idea to Put Trump’s Name on Stimulus Checks

Alex Brandon/AP

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During a Sunday morning appearance on CNN in which he said he was “hopeful” a deal on another coronavirus relief bill could come soon, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wanted to clear up another matter: It was his idea, he told host Jake Tapper, to put President Donald Trump’s name on millions of stimulus checks. 

“The President could have been authorized to sign the checks—that would have slowed things down,” Mnuchin said. “We didn’t want to do that. We did put the President’s name on the check—that was my idea. He is the president, and I think it’s a terrific symbol to the American public.”

Mnuchin’s comments echo reports from the New York Times and Washington Post that the move to put Trump’s name on the checks came at the behest of the Treasury Department. As the Post reported last week:

While Trump has spent recent weeks talking with friends and supporters about his coronavirus response and his reelection campaign, the effort to place his name on the checks was largely kept secret until this week, with top White House officials in the dark until the plan became public. The White House press office did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Some senior officials at the IRS did not find out about the plan until Tuesday morning, underscoring the unorthodox process that has turned Trump’s desire into reality.

After privately suggesting to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that he be allowed to formally sign the checks, Trump settled for having his name printed in the memo section, according to administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Meanwhile, the impending $400 billion deal between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats would send $300 billion to a small business loan program, $75 billion to hospitals, and $25 billion toward testing. But even as congressional Democrats have requested more money to be sent to states directly, Mnuchin argued that the federal government already had “a lot of money that we’re distributing to the states.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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