Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Democrats will hold everybody to a higher standard then they impose on themselves.

Dems Demand Investigation Over Mnuchin’s ‘Lego Batman’ Joke

By Emily Zanotti4:21 pm, March 28, 2017

While they may be failing to whip 60 votes for a filibuster on SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch, struggling to craft a message, and left hanging on the Russia investigation, Democrats in Congress are at least going to nail down one Trump administration official for his comments about the LEGO Batman Movie.
Last week, Hollywood-executive-turned-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin gave a short interview to Axios, where he refused to provide suggestions on which movies Americans should see because his advice could be construed as improper. He then went on to joke that families should consider an outing to see LEGO Batman, a movie he produced.
“I’m not allowed to promote anything that I’m involved in. So I just want to have the legal disclosure, you’ve asked me the question, and I am not promoting any product,” Mnuchin said on Friday. “But you should send all your kids to Lego Batman.”
Everyone was left laughing. Everyone, that is, execept Democratic Senator Ron Wyden.
Furious that Mnuchin would even dare to joke about his Hollywood connections in this terrifying, Trumpian climate of corruption, Wyden went immediately to the Office of Government Ethics, begging the director to launch a full investigation into whether Mnuchin was engaging in a conflict of interest with his off-the-cuff reference.
“I am concerned that Sec. Mnuchin’s comments, may be seen to have a predictable effect on the financial interests” of RatPac-Dune,” Wyden said in a letter to the OGE.
RatPac-Dune Entertainment Holdings LLC is Mnuchin’s former production company with filmmaker Brett Rattner and a handful of other media moguls. The studio has produced and financed a number of recent blockbusters, including The LEGO MovieLEGO Batman, and Mad Max: Fury Road.
But Mnuchin divested himself of his share of RatPac Dune before taking up the mantle at Treasury, and signed an ethics agreement stating he would not actively promote any of RatPac’s products as a member of the Administration.
When asked about Wyden’s dire concerns about his joke, Mnuchin’s office released a statement, essentially saying that Ron Wyden needs to lighten up.
“As his statement reflects, the Secretary clearly recognized that he generally may not promote private interests and specifically gave the legal disclosure that he was not promoting a movie, but answering a question he was asked directly,” Mnuchin’s statement read.

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