- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Top White House economist Kevin Hassett on Wednesday knocked down reports that President Trump was turning against Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

“Those stories are just false,” Mr. Hassett said on Fox Business Network.

Recent reports by CNN and other news outlets claimed Mr. Mnuchin’s job was in “serious jeopardy.”

Mr. Mnuchin became the focus of next-to-go speculation after he made a call to bank executives Sunday and issued a statement affirming that there was no risk of a liquidity crisis.

The move may have contributed to a massive Wall Street selloff Monday in which U.S. markets posted their worst Christmas Eve session in history.

The selloff included a 600-point tumble on the Dow Jones Industrial Average to close at a 15-month low. The Dow was up slightly in early trading Wednesday.

“I’m highly confident that the president is very happy with Secretary Mnuchin,” Mr. Hassett said. “I’ve met with them together in the Oval Office many, many times. They have a very collegial and personal relationship.”

He said the call to bank executives was not unusual or alarming.

“It is extremely normal for the treasury secretary to keep his finger on the pulse of financial markets,” Mr. Hassett said.

Mr. Trump also reassured reporters Tuesday that he continued to have confidence in Mr. Mnuchin. The president called the treasury secretary a “very talented, very smart person.”

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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