AAN Exclusive: Top Insider Weighs in on Trump Cabinet Pick

WASHINGTON — Last Saturday, Treasury secretary Jacob “Jack” Lew revealed uncertainty about President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to replace him.
 
After synagogue services in the nation’s capital, I asked Lew about his possible replacement, former Goldman Sachs banker and hedge fund manager Steve Mnuchin, whose nomination was announced last week. Lew replied that he does not know him personally or professionally, and said he only knows what he reads about him “in the newspapers.”
 
However, Lew has his reservations. He cited Mnuchin’s lack of government experience and hopes Mnuchin be up to speed when he begins working at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, pending Senate confirmation. Nonetheless, Lew said he is willing to help him adjust to the position as the nation’s top banker.
 
In a piece for Fortune magazine, former Treasury spokesperson Kara Alaimo wrote, “Unlike President Obama’s Treasury secretaries, Tim Geithner and Jack Lew, Mnuchin’s wholly private sector experience hasn’t quite prepared him for this level of international relations and firefighting. But he can—and must—overcome this gap by appointing a deputy with serious economic diplomacy experience.”  
 
Last week, Mnuchin responded to criticism about his absence of public sector work. “Let me first say what I’ve really been focused on is being a regional banker for the last eight years and I know what it takes to make sure that we can make loans to small and mid-market companies,” Mnuchin said at Trump Tower. “And that’s going to be our big focus, making sure we scale back regulation so that we make sure the banks are lending.”
 


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