Mnuchin vs. Maxine Waters: "You Acknowledged I Shouldn't Interrupt"; Waters: "I'm Reclaiming My Time!"


Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has a meltdown while questioning Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Thursday. Waters continued to interrupt Mnuchin as he attempted to answer her.


WATERS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Secretary Mnuchin, I want to make sure that we all operating here with the same understanding. Even though you are not sworn in, do you realize you are under oath?

MNUCHIN: I do, thank you.

WATERS: Thank you very much. Are you familiar with the May 23rd letter I sent to you, along with several of my Democratic colleagues on this committee?

MNUCHIN: Yes, I am.

WATERS: Do you understand that this committee not only has jurisdiction, but a responsibility to oversee the activities of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network?


WATERS: Given that the Treasury maintains these types of records, and given your department's statements that the agency takes responsiveness to congressional requests very seriously and is committed to providing useful and appropriate responses to requests from congressional members, is there some reason why I did not get a response to the letter that I sent May 23rd?

MNUCHIN: So, Ranking Member Waters, first of all, let me thank you for your service to California. Being a resident of California, I appreciate everything that you've done...

WATERS: Thank you very much...

MNUCHIN: ... for the community there...

WATERS: I don't want to take my time up with (ph) how great I am.

MNUCHIN: I -- I also have appreciated the opportunity...

WATERS: Reclaiming my time.

MNUCHIN: ... to meet with you several times...

WATERS: Reclaiming my time.

MNUCHIN: ... when we were doing our -- our...

WATERS: Reclaiming my time.

HENSARLING: The time belongs to the gentlelady from California.

WATERS: Let me just say to you, thank you for your compliments about how great I am, but I don't want to waste my time on me.

I want to know about the May 23rd letter. You know about it, why did you not respond to me and my colleagues?

MNUCHIN: I was going to answer that...

WATERS: Just, please, go straight to the answer.

MNUCHIN: Mr. Chairman, I thought, when you read the rules, you acknowledged that I shouldn't be interrupted, and that I would have...

WATERS: Reclaiming my time.

MNUCHIN: ... the opportunity...

WATERS: What he failed to tell you was, when you're on my time, I can reclaim it. I -- he left that out. So I'm reclaiming my time.

Please, will you respond to the question of why I did not get a response -- me and my colleagues -- to the May 23rd letter?

MNUCHIN: Well, I was going to tell you my response.

WATERS: Just tell me.

MNUCHIN: OK. So first of all -- OK, let me just say that the Department of Treasury has cooperated extensively with the Senate Intel Committee, with the House...

WATERS: Reclaiming my time.

MNUCHIN: ... Intel Committee...

WATERS: Reclaiming my time.

MNUCHIN: ... with the Senate Judiciary (ph) Committee...

WATERS: Reclaiming my time.

MNUCHIN: OK. Matter of fact...

WATERS: Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time.

HENSARLING: Mr. Secretary, the -- the time belongs to the gentlelady from California.

MNUCHIN: Perhaps, Mr. Chairman, I don't understand the rules...

WATERS: Reclaiming my time.

MNUCHIN: ... because I thought I was allowed to answer questions.

WATERS: Reclaiming my time. Would you please explain the rules, and do not take that away from my time.

HENSARLING: We will give the gentlelady adequate time.

So what I read, Mr. Secretary, were statements of the ranking member and Democratic colleagues on how administration witnesses should be treated, not necessarily the way they will be treated.

So the time belongs to the gentlelady from California, but, I assure you, majority members will allow you to answer the question when it is our time.

MNUCHIN: OK (ph). So what I was saying is that we have provided substantial information. We believe there's significant overlap, and, matter of fact, I would say that we spoke to your chief oversight counsel yesterday. We have been responsive, and we are trying to coordinate with you the response, and we've suggested that you get the information through the other committees.

But I would like to emphasize we believe we've been very responsive...

WATERS: Reclaiming my time.

MNUCHIN: ... and will continue to do so.

WATERS: Thank you very much. You left a message yesterday -- or someone on staff left a message.

MNUCHIN: No, we didn't leave a message.

WATERS: Reclaiming my time.

MNUCHIN: We spoke to the chief oversight counsel.

WATERS: Reclaiming my own time. Reclaiming my time.

You did not respond. You left a message. Let us keep going.

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