Mnuchin says joke about 'Lego Batman Movie' was mistake

Brendan Smialowiski  AFP  Getty Images Warner Bros

According to NBC News, the Secretary of the Department of Treasury sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics Friday. He acknowledged ethics restrictions barred him from promoting anything where he had a.

Mnuchin is one of the executive producers on the movie, which was financed by his RatPac-Dune Entertainment.

In response, Mnuchin wrote a public letter to Walter Shaub Jr., the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, which was released on Friday.

The Secretary's responses were made in jest and not meant to be a product endorsement of the Lego Batman movie.

Today, Mnuchin responded to the investigation, sending a sheepish letter to the agency admitting he "should not have made that statement" and promising to "exercise greater caution" in future.

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At the end of the question-and-answer session on March 24, Mnuchin was asked to name a movie people should see. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, requested the ethics office review the treasury secretary's comments.

Mnuchin wrote that the question was "light-hearted" and "could reasonably have been interpreted" to be a reference to "a film with which I was associated", which doesn't excuse the fact that he used the opportunity to unethically promote a film from which he will profit. After a beat, he said that "you should send all your kids to 'LEGO Batman, '" which he produced.

"I fully appreciate the core ethics principle that public office is a public trust and that no employee may use his office for his own or others' private gain". "I'm not allowed to promote anything that I'm involved in".

The White House said last month it had "counseled" Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway after she used a television appearance to endorse a clothing and accessories line created by the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump.

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