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Warren: Mulvaney is 'hurting real people to score cheap political points'

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn The Money: Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi summit | Consumer bureau to probe controversial blog posts on race | Harris proposes new middle-class tax credit Overnight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump says GOP will support pre-existing condition protections | McConnell defends ObamaCare lawsuit | Dems raise new questions for HHS on child separations Booker holds 'Get Out the Vote' event in South Carolina as presidential speculation builds MORE (D-Mass.) on Thursday accused the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) of derailing the agency out of politically motivated spite.

Warren said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing that Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi summit | Consumer bureau to probe controversial blog posts on race | Harris proposes new middle-class tax credit Consumer bureau to probe top Trump official's past racial comments On The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race MORE had turned her criticism of his tenure into a personal feud.

‘You’ve taken obvious joy in talking about how the agency would help banks much more than consumers, and how upset that would make me,” Warren said.

“But this isn’t about me,” Warren added. “You’re hurting real people to score cheap political points.”

Mulvaney, who’s also the White House budget director, and Warren have sparred for months over the acting director’s legitimacy and efforts to rein in the controversial CFPB. The two have fought through a series of angry letters and public barbs, but had not faced off until Thursday.

Warren is considered the architect of the CFPB, laying the foundation for the bureau as an adviser to then-President Obama in 2011. She has become one of the CFPB’s most vocal defenders since her 2012 election to the Senate.

Mulvaney, a staunch conservative, had fought against the CFPB’s existence and supported several efforts to gut the bureau while serving as a GOP congressman from South Carolina. President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE appointed Mulvaney to be the acting CFPB chief in November after the resignation of Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayDems go on offense against GOP lawsuit on pre-existing conditions Trump attacks Democrat in Ohio governor's race Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas MORE (D), the bureau’s first director.

Mulvaney has since taken several steps to transform the bureau from within. He’s suspended the bureau’s collection of data from financial services companies, delayed a polarizing rule on payday loans and reshuffled the agency’s office overseeing lending discrimination.

Democrats and liberal nonprofits once aligned with the CFPB have fumed over Mulvaney’s actions and say he’s aiming to destroy the bureau to protect banks and shady lenders.

Warren has been chief among his critics, supporting a legal challenge to his appointment from the bureau’s deputy director, Leandra English, and demanding answers to dozens of questions about his agenda.

Mulvaney has said his goals are to enforce consumer protection laws and meet the CFPB’s legal obligations. He said the previous CFPB regime waged an ideological crusade against lenders spurred by Warren’s constant criticism of banks.

"I don't want us to be Elizabeth Warren's baby,” Mulvaney said Monday at a conference of community bankers.

He also singled out a small minority of CFPB staffers aligned with “the Elizabeth Warren view of the world that lending money for profit is evil” that he alleges has undermined the bureau with misleading leaks to reporters.

“As long as your associated with one person, be it me or her, you're never going to be taken as seriously as a bureaucracy, as an oversight regulator as you probably should,” Mulvaney said Monday.