Mnuchin says joke about 'Lego Batman Movie' was mistake

Katie RamirezApr 02, 2017

To calm the situation down, Mnuchin walked back the comment in a letter to the Office of Government Ethics, according to NBC News and Politico.

At a televised event for Axios, the host had finished the interview by asking Mnuchin to recommend a movie to see.

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".

RatPac-Dune Entertainment Holdings, which Mnuchin co-founded, produced the movie.

At the time of the incident, the Treasury Department issued a statement defending Mnuchin, saying that he was simply answering a question, and that telling reporters to drag their kids to his movies didn't technically count as promotion.

A scene from "Lego Batman".

Including Lego Batman, Mnuchin is credited as an executive producer on five films slated for release in 2017, among them "The Lego Ninjago Movie", an animated feature starring Olivia Munn and Justin Theroux.

Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, has already asked the ethics office to examine Mnuchin's comments.

Mnuchin said he had used "words that could reasonably have been interpreted to encourage the questioner to see a film with which I was associated". He said "I share your concern about [Mnuchin's] remarks".

"I fully appreciate the core ethics principle that public office is a public trust and that no employee may use his office for his own or others' private gain", said the Secretary.

In his letter to the government ethics office, Mnuchin wrote, "I want to reassure you that I will exercise greater caution to avoid any suggestion that I do not take these important rules seriously".

Shaub did express frustration that the White House didn't take stronger action against Trump aide Kellyanne Conway in February after she plugged Ivanka Trump's fashion brand on Fox News.

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