First, it was senior adviser Kellyanne Conway plugging Ivanka Trump’s clothing line in a live TV interview from the White House. Now it’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker who became a movie underwriter and was executive producer of “The Lego Batman Movie”.
“I’m not allowed to promote anything that I’m involved in,” Mnuchin said during a Friday morning event organized by Axios, before going on to do just that: “So I just want to have the legal disclosure, you’ve asked me the question, and I am not promoting any product. But you should send all your kids to ‘Lego Batman.’”
Did Mnuchin break federal government rules by promoting, even in a joking manner, his movie?
Norm Eisen, former ethics czar for President Obama, says yes.
ETHICS VIOLATION: appears Mnuchin just violated 5 CFR 2635.702—same transgression as Conway. That is what happens when WH looks other way. https://t.co/l3s8NS3ffg— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) March 24, 2017
Lego Batman has raked in more than $168 million in box offices sales so far.
Contact Nathan Guttman at email@example.com
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Ethics Violation? Mnuchin Plugs Own Film