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Hollywood insider Steven Mnuchin, whose film credits as an executive producer include the Tom Hanks film Sully and the Ben Affleck movie The Accountant, will be named President-elect Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary. After reports surfaced Tuesday night that Mnuchin was likely to be named to the nation’s top finance post, the former Goldman Sachs partner confirmed on CNBC Wednesday morning that he was the president-elect’s pick.
Trump announced his intent to nominate Mnuchin Wednesday morning in a statement that also confirmed billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as his pick Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, for Deputy Secretary of Commerce. “This team will be instrumental in implementing the President-elect’s America First economic plan that will create more than 25 million jobs over the next decade,” read the statement.
Mnuchin had been the finance chairman for Trump’s presidential campaign. The 53-year-old former Goldman Sachs partner is co-founder of Dune Capital Management and chairman of Dune Entertainment Partners, which has provided funding for blockbuster films including Avatar.
Mnuchin was said to have impressed Trump since being named to his campaign’s top financial post in May. There have been reports for a few months that he was in line for the Treasury job. Trump had also met with other contenders for the job in recent days, including a meeting Tuesday with Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohen.
“Steve Mnuchin is a world-class financier, banker and businessman, and has played a key role in developing our plan to build a dynamic, booming economy that will create millions of jobs,” said Trump on Wednesday. “His expertise and pro-growth ideas make him the ideal candidate to serve as Secretary of the Treasury. He purchased IndyMac Bank for $1.6 billion and ran it very professionally, selling it for $3.4 billion plus a return of capital. That’s the kind of people I want in my administration representing our country.”
Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box Wednesday, Mnuchin said he and Ross are “thrilled to work for the president-elect and honored to have these positions.”
In the statement released by the Trump campaign, Mnuchin said: “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve our great country in this important role. I understand what needs to be done to fix the economy. I look forward to helping President-elect Trump implement a bold economic agenda that creates good-paying jobs and defends the American worker.”
— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) November 30, 2016
The Democratic National Committee responded to the news Tuesday night with the following statement: “So much for draining the swamp. Nominating Steve Mnuchin to be Treasury Secretary — a billionaire hedge fund manager and Goldman Sachs alumnus who preyed on homeowners struggling during the recession — is a slap in the face to voters who hoped he would shake up Washington. Trump is already heading into office as the most corrupt, conflicted, and unpopular president-elect in history, and now he’s breaking his signature promise to the voters who elected him.”
News of Mnuchin’s pick was first reported by The New York Times.
Mnuchin’s ties to Hollywood run deep. He merged Dune Entertainment with Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac three years ago to create RatPac-Dune Entertainment, which co-produced American Sniper and Mad Max: Fury Road.
A year later, Mnuchin invested in Relativity Media and joined Ryan Kavanaugh’s company as nonexecutive co-chairman, but left just before Relativity filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last summer.
Mnuchin, who previously has supported Democrats — including Trump’s rival for president, Hillary Clinton, when she ran for the Senate — has grown very close to Trump during the difficult campaign and has become one of his most loyal deputies. He has not only raised money for Trump, including at a fundraiser attended by some Republicans working in Hollywood, but also played a key a role in developing the candidate’s economic policies that would reduce taxes and regulations.
Nov. 30, 11:45 a.m. ET: Updated with official statements.
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