Donald Trump’s former starring vehicle The Celebrity Apprentice made a dramatic cameo appearance at today’s confirmation hearing for Steve Mnuchin. The former finance director for Trump’s presidential campaign — who also is a former partner in Goldman Sachs, former co-owner of One West Bank and a producer of Hollywood movies — is Trump’s appointment for Treasury Secretary.
When it was Sen. Claire McCaskill’s turn to take a crack at Mnuchin, she asked: “Would you agree that your new boss is famous for firing people?”
“Well, he has a show about it, but other than the show…,” Mnuchin began, laughing at the line of questioning.
McCaskill was not amused.
“Well, we sometimes have – it’s a blurred line,” McCaskill shot back. “We’re not sure where the show stops and the reality begins,” she said, giving voice to the confusion of many, particularly journalists who have been covering Trump’s improbable rise from reality TV star (and current producer) to POTUS.
“Do you think he will hesitate to fire people if he disagrees with them or believes they’re doing a bad job?” McCaskill said, continuing her Celebrity Apprentice-seque line of questioning.
“If he disagrees with them, no,” Mnuchin said, explaining he has disagreed at times with Trump “and I haven’t been fired.” If Trump thinks someone is doing a bad job, “absolutely he should fire them,” he added.
McCaskill then asked if Trump would be the person to hire and fire the “ethics” officer he has promised to hire to keep an eye on himself. Mnuchin said he did not know. McCaskill said she thought he should know, or words to that effect. Mnuchin also declined to promise to deliver to the committee on an ASAP basis a report as to how much of Trump’s business debt is held by foreign interests.