Mnuchin says it was his idea to put Trump's name on stimulus checks

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinCentrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline MORE said on Sunday that it was his idea to put President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE's name on the stimulus checks being sent to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We did put the president's name on the check,” he said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of The Union,” adding: “That was my idea. He is the president and I think it's a terrific symbol to the American public.”

His comments come after a story published last week by The Washington Post, which had been first to break the news about the move, reported that the president had privately made the suggestion about having his name printed on the checks to Mnuchin.

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The story had also reported that two senior agency officials with the IRS had claimed the move to print Trump’s name on the checks would cause delays for some payments.

A spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, Monica Crowley, denied the move would cause delays at the time and said in a tweet then that the “Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned.” She also called the Post’s story “inaccurate and misleading.”

Earlier this month, Trump brushed off reports that he had been interested in signing the stimulus checks being sent to Americans, saying then at a press briefing: "Me sign? No.”

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“There’s millions of checks. I’m going to sign them? No. It’s a Trump administration initiative, but do I want to sign them? No,” he continued.

Trump also denied knowing "too much about” the decision to have his names printed on the paper checks during a briefing last week. 

"I do understand it’s not delaying anything, and I’m satisfied with that. I don’t imagine it’s a big deal.” Trump said then. "I’m sure people will be very happy to get a big, fat, beautiful check, and my name is on it." 

Trump is the first president to have his name appear on disbursements from the IRS. Because he is not authorized to sign the payments, his name will appear off to the side on the checks, according to USA Today

However, during his appearance on CNN on Sunday, Mnuchin said that Trump "could have been authorized to sign the checks." But he added "that would have slowed things down. We didn't want that."