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Jan 19, 2017

NYT Politics : Senates's Closer Look at Steven Mnuchin Reveals Much More


nytimes.com
 
Jonathan Weisman and Maggie Haberman

‘The rich are different’ — Steve Mnuchin edition

At first blush, Mr. Mnuchin was a busy enough man, with his investment business and his Hollywood endeavors listed on a Dec. 19 questionnaire for the Senate Finance Committee that he swore was “true, accurate and complete.”

But when pushed by committee aides, Mr. Mnuchin conceded there was more. In a revised questionnaire submitted to the committee this month, he disclosed that he was also the director of Dune Capital International Ltd., an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven. He also revealed his management posts in seven other investment funds, which he said he “inadvertently missed,” according to Finance Committee documents obtained by The New York Times.

According to those documents:
In his revised questionnaire, Mr. Mnuchin disclosed several additional financial assets, including $95 million worth of real estate — a co-op in New York City; a residence in Southampton, New York; a residence in Los Angeles, California; and $15 million in real estate holdings in Mexico. Mr. Mnuchin has claimed these omissions were due to a misunderstanding of the questionnaire — he does not consider these assets to be “investment assets” and thus did not disclose them, even though the Committee directs the nominee to list all real estate assets.
He also forgot to disclose the $906,556 worth of artwork held by his children.

New president will visit C.I.A. headquarters

Mr. Trump plans to appear at the swearing-in ceremony for Mike Pompeo, his choice for director of the C.I.A., after an interfaith prayer service on his first full day in office, a person briefed on the plans said.

Mr. Trump’s visit to C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va., will be one of his earliest official acts as president and could be seen as a gesture to an agency whose work he has criticized repeatedly since his victory in November.

The visit would come much earlier in his administration than in those of his three immediate predecessors. President Bill Clinton, who defended the agency amid proposed cuts, first went to Langley a year after taking office; President Obama visited in April 2009, a few months after his inauguration; and President George W. Bush went even sooner, in March 2001.

The visit is an opportunity for Mr. Trump to display the seriousness of the job.

Back at the Trump

His days outside the White House waning, the president-elect dashed from New York to Washington on Wednesday night for a bit of a folderol:a stop at the National Portrait Gallery to honor his vice president-elect, Mike Pence, then a cabinet secretaries’ dinner at the Library of Congress.
Mr. Trump did take the time to snap a photograph with a celebrity on hand to celebrate with Mr. Pence: the country singer Lee Greenwood of “God Bless the U.S.A.” fame.
With A-list celebrities hard to come by for the inaugural festivities, country music has proved to be something of a lifeline.
On such nights, presidents (and presidents-elect) often make unscheduled stops — sometimes at a soup kitchen, sometimes at a diner or burger joint — to fraternize with ordinary folks. Mr. Trump also made an unexpected stop at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, where he had dinner.
One assumes that for the small pool of journalists tagging along, the hotel made an exception to the no-reporter rule handed down by management for the inaugural festivities.

Party at Pence’s house

Of course the real fun in Washington on Wednesday night was on Mr. Pence’s street, where gay rights activists gathered to dance and twerk — a protest of sorts of the incoming vice president’s views of homosexuals. From the Portrait Gallery to this: