On Saturday, The Washington Post reported that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's standing with Congress is in "tatters" after the president tanked the COVID-19 stimulus deal he spent weeks negotiating on Capitol Hill — and assuring lawmakers had the full backing of his boss.
"[Trump's] demand for $2,000 stimulus checks is a direct rejection of the $600 checks that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had personally proposed and negotiated with Democrats and Republicans," reported Jeff Stein. "Now, Trump's rejection of the deal has confounded many leaders on Capitol Hill because they had thought Mnuchin negotiated the package on behalf of the president. The treasury chief's standing with many lawmakers is now in tatters just days before a full-blown crisis is set to occur."
"At 12:59 p.m. [on Tuesday], Mnuchin tweeted a congratulatory message to congressional leaders, thanking them for their vote to approve 'additional critical economic relief for American workers, families and businesses,'" the report noted. "'I want to thank President Trump for his leadership,' Mnuchin wrote in a news release accompanying the tweet. Six hours later, Trump posted a tweet of his own, calling the bill a 'disgrace' and demanding sweeping changes."
The report said that Mnuchin was "blindsided" by the rejection from Trump and "aides say the two have barely spoken since."
"Loyalty and assistance to President Trump generally gets rewarded with humiliation. This is how it ends for a lot of people who work for the guy," said right-wing think tank strategist Brian Riedl. "Secretary Mnuchin has been completely embarrassed."
It is unclear yet whether Trump will actually veto the legislation, but Americans around the country have flooded newspapers with panicked warnings they face financial ruin if that happens.