Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinPelosi: Lawmakers ‘very close’ on bipartisan agreement for additional PPP funding Banks say they ran out of PPP funding ‘within minutes’ Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers weigh in as US eyes phased reopening of economy MORE said on Sunday that it was his idea to put President TrumpDonald John TrumpWuhan lab denies claims of coronavirus origination Banks say they ran out of PPP funding ‘within minutes’ Trump defends testing capabilities, blasts critics during WH briefing MORE‘s name on the stimulus checks being sent to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We did put the president’s name on the check,” he said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of The Union,” adding: “That was my idea. He is the president and I think it’s a terrific symbol to the American public.”
His comments come after a story published by The Washington Post, which had been first to break the news about the move, last week reported that the president had privately made the suggestion about having his name printed on the checks to Mnuchin.
Question: “Did the president personally suggest [his name on stimulus checks]?”
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: “That was my idea. He is the president and I think it’s a terrific symbol to the American public.” pic.twitter.com/8G8ut2nec3
— The Hill (@thehill) April 19, 2020
The story had also reported that two senior agency officials with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had claimed the move to print Trump’s name on the checks would cause delays for some payments.
A spokeswoman for the department, Monica Crowley, denied the move would cause delays at the time and said in a tweet then that the “Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned.” She also called The Post’s story “inaccurate and misleading.”
Earlier this month, Trump brushed off reports that he had been interested in signing the stimulus checks being sent to Americans, saying then at a press briefing: “Me sign? No.”
“There’s millions of checks. I’m going to sign them? No. It’s a Trump administration initiative. But do I want to sign them? No,” he continued.
Trump also denied knowing “too much about” the decision to have his names printed on the paper checks during a briefing last week.
“I do understand it’s not delaying anything, and I’m satisfied with that. I don’t imagine it’s a big deal.” Trump said then. “I’m sure people will be very happy to get a big, fat, beautiful check, and my name is on it.”
Trump is the first president to have his name appear on disbursements from the IRS. Because he is not authorized to sign the payments, his name will appear off to the side on the checks, according to USA Today.
However, during his appearance on CNN on Sunday, Mnuchin said that Trump “could have been authorized to sign the checks.” But he added “that would have slowed things down. We didn’t want that.