Mnuchin: I don't find Trump's tweets racist

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump signs short-term spending bill to avert shutdown Trump awards Jon Voight, others National Medal of Arts Senate approves stopgap bill to prevent shutdown MORE said Monday that he does not find President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE's tweets suggesting progressive congresswomen "go back" to other countries to be racist.

"I don’t find them racist. The president just went on and clarified his comments. I think he speaks for himself on that, and he was very clear," Mnuchin told reporters at a briefing on cryptocurrency regulation, becoming the first Cabinet official to weigh in on the controversy.


Pressed again on whether he personally took issue with the tweets, Mnuchin declined to elaborate on his views.

“I think the president clarified his comment," he said. "I understand what the president’s comment is. I'm not concerned by the president’s comment."

His remarks came roughly an hour after Trump defended his tweets on the South Lawn and suggested that those who criticize the country should leave.

"As far as I’m concerned if you hate our country, if you’re not happy here you can leave," Trump said.

The president sparked an uproar on Sunday morning when he tweeted that unidentified progressive congresswomen "who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe" should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

Democrats and some Republicans have condemned the tweets as racist, though Trump said Monday he's unbothered by the criticism or that white nationalists have seized on the comments.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump told reporters during an event designed to highlight American manufacturing.