White House official says Trump was just having fun by smearing Maxine Waters

"The president likes making funny names."

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday. CREDIT: Meet the Press screenshot

On Saturday, the president attacked Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), a veteran African American congresswoman and outspoken Trump critic, saying, she’s a “a very low IQ individual — you ever see her?” On Sunday, his Treasury Secretary dismissed this and other attacks made by Trump at a Pennsylvania event as irrelevant “campaign rally issues.”

“You know I’ve been with the president and at campaigns,” Steve Mnuchin told NBC’s Meet the Press. “He likes to put names on people.”

“The president likes making funny names,” he added.

Host Chuck Todd noted that Trump had also encouraged booing of the American press corps while discouraging booing of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

“What you should focus on is: We’ve had a great week of results. So this is a historic situation of the president meeting with North Korea with no preconditions on the United States’ side whatsoever, as well as steel tariffs,” Mnuchin said.


“The president is focused on economic growth,” the Treasury secretary concluded, completely ignoring the question.

“If that’s what we should be focused on,” Todd asked, “then why can’t the president focus on that, sir?”

Mnuchin answered that Todd should not “take these campaign rallies and focus them on that’s what it is [sic].”