LOS ANGELES - Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin visited UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations Monday and had agreed to allow the university to post video and a podcast of his lecture, but changed his mind following the speech.
The conversation was moderated by journalist Kai Ryssdal and the topics covered included sanctions, the Trump tax plan and the current economic outlook. The lecture was attended by roughly 200 people, many of whom did not agree with the secretary's positions, hissing and at points, interrupting his remarks.
Mnuchin decided to engage some of the protesters, asking why they were hissing, and he paused when interrupted. ABC7 was in the room when two protesters were escorted out by armed police officers.
On Tuesday, Peggy McInerny, director of communications for the Burkle Center, released a statement to the media explaining why the public would not be receiving video of the lecture.
"I am sorry to write that we just received word that Secretary Mnuchin has retracted his permission for the Burkle Center to post its video and podcast of yesterday's event on its website, so we are unable to share either recording with you. This was an unexpected development and I apologize," said McInerny.
A treasury spokeswoman pushed back when asked by the New York Times whether Mnuchin was being transparent about deciding not to allow the university to release the video. The spokeswoman told the paper, "The event was open to the media and a transcript was published. He believes healthy debate is critical to ensuring the right policies that do the most good are advanced."
Mnuchin has a house in Bel-Air, where back in December, the LAPD bomb squad was called after a man left horse manure at the home.