On Meet the Press, Steve Mnuchin dismisses Trump's attacks against media figures as "funny moments"
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From the March 11 edition of NBC's Meet the Press:
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CHUCK TODD (HOST): Alright, I understand you wanted to get back on an economic message but the president of the United States in the past has been a beacon of freedom of the press. Instead, last night, he was praising authoritarian figures in China and North Korea and encouraging boos of the American press. Does this mean this American president is no longer going to be preaching about the values of freedom of the press and democracy around the world?
STEVE MNUCHIN: Of course, he believes in freedom of the press and democracy around the world. And he believes more importantly in protecting democracy around the world. And that's what we should be focused on, a week of policies. And as I said before --
TODD: You keep saying that's -- if that's what we should be focused on, then why can't the president focus on that, sir?
MNUCHIN: I think the president has been very focused on that. And --
TODD: Would you call last night's speech a focused speech on that?
MNUCHIN: I wasn't at the campaign rally, as you know. But again, don't take these campaign rallies and focus them on that's what it is.
TODD: So we should -- should we stop covering the campaign rallies? Do you think it's a mistake then for us to cover them at all? That it doesn't matter what he says? If it doesn't matter what he says there, if we're to dismiss everything he says at a campaign rally, as I think you are trying to imply, then are you saying we shouldn't cover these things?
MNUCHIN: No you're -- you're putting words in my mouth. I wasn't in any way saying you should dismiss that whatsoever. And you should obviously carry them, because these are important moments for the president and this is news. What I'm trying to say is, I'm focused on the policies and the policies have created results. We've had more results in the last year on both foreign policy and domestic matters. So, what we should be focused on and what I came to talk about were the president's policies. Economic policies --
TODD: Well, I wanted to talk about those with you. Obviously, he chose not to do that. Look, final question for you. Many people, including myself, raise their kids to respect the office of the presidency and the president of the United States. When he uses vulgarity to talk about individuals, what are they supposed to tell their kids?
MNUCHIN: Again, I'll be with my kids this morning and I'll be focused on them on what the president is doing to protect the United States, its citizens, and more importantly it's economy --
TODD: So he's not amoral, don't worry about his values don't worry about --
MNUCHIN: I've never said that whatsoever. So I don't know why you're putting these words in what I'm trying to say, okay? So, again, I'm very comfortable with what we're doing, okay? And again, I think you're trying to take this out of perspective and implying something I'm not saying.
TODD: Fair enough. What do you, what are you supposed to say when he's using these vulgarities to kids?
MNUCHIN: Again, I think you should be focused on what the policies are. He's using those vulgarities in the context of a campaign rally. And obviously, there were a lot of funny moments on that rally.
TODD: Yeah, they were hilarious.