On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared before the House Financial Services Committee, regarding the Democrats’ request for six years of President Trump’s personal and business tax returns. Committee chairwoman Maxine Waters didn’t waste time, using her first question to ask Mnuchin if he would send the president’s tax information by their Wednesday deadline. He gave a noncommittal answer: “I want to acknowledge we have received the request.”
By the end of his appearance, the Treasury secretary had run out of patience, testing Waters with an extremely passive-aggressive request to wrap up her questioning:
Waters: What would you like to do?
Mnuchin: What I told you is I thought you’d let me leave at 5:15, which is the current period of time—
Waters: You’re free to leave any time you want.
Mnuchin: Okay, well then please dismiss everybody. I believe you’re supposed to take the gravel [sic] and bang it.
Waters: Please do not instruct me as to how I am supposed to conduct this committee.
It’s not the first time Mnuchin and Waters have sparred on the Hill. In a House Financial Services Committee hearing in July 2017, Mnuchin stalled while answering a question asked by Waters, by showering the congresswoman in meaningless praise. Waters caught the tactic, and repeated “reclaiming my time” until the committee chairman told Mnuchin to stop.