WASHINGTON – APRIL 09: Lawrence Summers, Director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, participates in a question-and-answer session throughout a luncheon with the Economic Club of Washington on the J.W. Marriott April 9, 2009 in Washington, DC. Summers spoke to the membership in regards to the present state of the nation’s economic system and the Obama administration’s efforts to deal with the disaster. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
10:45 AM 11/09/2017
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers is being criticized for personally attacking Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Summers is not like different former Treasury Secretaries by going after Mnuchin. Summers served as head of the Treasury below Bill Clinton and later was the highest financial adviser to former President Barack Obama and served as president of Harvard University.
“For me we have a tradition for people who have been in the position not to criticize current secretaries,” Paul O’Neill, a former Treasury Secretary below President George W. Bush informed the Times. “That doesn’t mean we don’t have an opinion, but we don’t tell people what we think.”
He has attacked Mnuchin “in podcasts, blog posts, op-eds and on Twitter” for “damaging the credibility of Treasury by making ‘irresponsible’ economic badessments of the administration’s tax plan and acting as a ‘sycophant’ to President Trump,” based on the Times report.
“There is a range of estimates that a reasonable and thoughtful person could have and then there are estimates that if you have them you can really only have them if you were ignorant to the subject or if you were being motivated by politics,” Summers stated in a Politico podcast launched Wednesday. “And I’m afraid the claims of Secretary Mnuchin that this would generate so much economic growth that it would pay for itself falls into that category.”
Economist Larry Kudlow, who suggested Trump’s marketing campaign and says he’s a good friend of Mnuchin’s, known as Summers’ remarks “unseemly.”
“He’s like name calling, he’s making it personal, it’s very vitriolic,” Kudlow stated.
And Franklin Noll, the president of the Treasury Historical Association, informed NYT, “From what I can remember, no one really talked badly about others.”