Mnuchin, Maxine Waters get into fiery exchange over length of hearing

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersDemocrats could introduce articles of impeachment next week What are not criteria for impeachment? Fed's top regulator takes heat from both parties MORE (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, engaged in a fiery exchange Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — House Dems charge Trump with abuse, obstruction of Congress in impeachment articles White House, Democrats edge closer to deal on trade Pelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors MORE over the length of his testimony before the committee.

The exchange grew heated as Mnuchin requested to leave the hearing because of a meeting he said he had scheduled with a foreign leader.  

After Waters told Mnuchin that he was free to leave, Mnuchin asked her to dismiss the hearing, saying that she was supposed to "take the gavel and bang it.”

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“Please do not instruct me as to how I am to conduct this committee," Waters responded.

Earlier in the exchange, Mnuchin offered to cancel his meeting to stay at the hearing, but said he would "not be back here" if he did that.

“If you’d wish to keep me here so I don’t have my important meeting and continue to grill me, then we can do that. I will cancel my meeting and I will not be back here. I will be very clear," he said.

"The secretary has agreed to stay to hear all of the rest of the members," Waters responded. "Please cancel your meeting and respect our time.”

Mnuchin then accused Waters of forcing him to say at the meeting, though she contended that he had made her an offer to stay.

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“I’m not ordering you. I said you may leave any time you want. And you said, 'OK, if that’s what you want to do, I’ll cancel my meeting and I’ll stay here,'" she said, before reiterating that he was free to leave. 

Mnuchin also said during the exchange that no other Treasury secretary has previously testified as long as he did Tuesday and said Republicans "did not treat the secretary of the Treasury this way" when they held the majority.

Waters responded by telling Mnuchin that it is a "new day" under her leadership.

"This is a new way and it’s a new day. And it’s a new chair and I have the gavel at this point," she said.