Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday took credit for President Donald Trump’s name being added to stimulus checks being mailed to Americans, following a report that the last-minute addition would cause a delay in their delivery.
“That was my idea. He is the president and I think it’s a terrific symbol to the American public,” Mnuchin said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Trump’s name will appear in a memo line on the printed checks since he is not authorized to sign them. It will be the first time in history that a president’s name will appear on a payment from the Internal Revenue Service.
Mnuchin said the checks, which are being sent out to those who forego direct deposit, have yet to be mailed out, but said the delay was not caused by adding Trump’s name. The Treasury Department has also disputed a report suggesting that was why.
“The reason why the checks have not gone out is we’re hoping that more people, as I said, will go to IRS.gov,” Mnuchin said. “It’s much safer to send out direct deposits.”
The White House initially said the payments would go out by early April. Direct deposits began to hit peoples’ bank accounts last week.
Trump had been widely criticized over news that his name would be added. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) called the move an “unprecedented, cheap political stunt.”