Former Fox News contributor Monica Crowley is joining Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s staff as his top spokeswoman. Today’s news comes as Mnuchin seeks to improve the public perception of the Republican tax cuts and develop a cohesive strategy to counter calls for the president’s tax returns.
Bloomberg’s Saleha Mohsin and Jennifer Jacobs report:
Crowley will be assistant secretary for public affairs, replacing Tony Sayegh, who departs at the end of May after more than two years with Mnuchin, the people said. Crowley and a Treasury spokesman didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump planned to appoint Crowley to a position at the National Security Council in his White House, but she withdrew from consideration in January 2017 after CNN reported that she had plagiarized portions of her 2012 book and Politico reported that she had plagiarized portions of her 2000 Ph.D. thesis. Crowley said in a Fox News interview that the reports were a “political hit job.”
Democrats are seeking Trump’s tax returns from the Treasury Department. In response to an April 3 request from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, Mnuchin wrote that the department would seek a legal opinion from the Justice Department. Neal’s response on Saturday gave a new deadline of April 23 before his committee would potentially resort to further legal options.
Scrutiny in the Treasury Department has grown since Democrats reclaimed their majority in the House and demanded the IRS release the president’s tax returns.
Insiders believe Crowley’s reputation as a cable news brawler makes her an ideal pick to counterattack aggressive Democrats.