On Tuesday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) responded to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's attempt to cut his Financial Services Committee hearing short.
While interviewing with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Waters explained that the meeting was more important than the excuses Mnuchin was using in an effort to leave.
"Can you explain what led up to that exchange? Had it been contentious up to that point?" Cooper asked.
"Prior to the secretary coming over to our committee, we negotiated that he would come. He had not at any time told us that he had to leave at 5:15. And so we learned just the day before that he was deciding that he couldn't stay any longer," Waters said.
"He told you the day before?" Cooper asked.
"Yes. The day before that he was not going to stay. We indicated early on that we wanted him to stay. We have a huge committee. We have a large committee," Waters said.
Adding, "If he does not stay, too many members of our committee do not get to participate. And so we let him know that, and we said that if he left, he was going to have to come back at least two times in May, which he did not agree to at the time. And so we pressed upon him the importance of staying with the committee. When he decided that he could not stay, I offered to him, then fine, if you cannot stay, you may leave at any time."
Mnuchin said that he had an important meeting to go to and that's why he wanted to leave early. Waters told him that he could leave at any time.
"I don't think there's anything or anybody more important than the Congress of the United States of America, trying to find out exactly what the secretary is doing," Waters said.
"He has been contradictory in how he talked about whether or not he was going to follow the law and release those tax returns as the law mandates. So we need to do our oversight. We need to be able to represent the people of this country in understanding how this government works and doing the kind of work that will ensure that their government is acting according to the law," she said.
Watch below via CNN.