FBN’s Charles Payne Snaps at WH Economic Adviser For Spinning Mnuchin’s Call to Banks: ‘Panic’ Move


Charles Payne wasn’t buying any of what White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett was selling.

Pinch-hitting in the big chair on Varney & Co. Wednesday, Payne grew frustrated after Hassett tried to spin Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin‘s calls to the CEOs of major banks as “extremely normal.”

“He tried to calm the markets,” Payne said. “He had the call with these banks. It didn’t work. The markets collapsed on Monday. I don’t know what’s going on right now, we’re losing all of the rally, and big name dragging us on the Dow once again is Goldman Sachs. Should we be worried that Steven Mnuchin had to make this call? Was it a mistake?”

“It’s very normal for the Treasury Secrtary to call people up,” Hassett said. “and say, ‘How is Christmas looking?’ They’ve got credit card data.”

Payne wasn’t down with Hassett’s shilling.

“But to [call them and] say, ‘Hey, do you guys have enough cash for a run on the banks?!” Payne said. “Was that the question?!”

Hassett didn’t veer from his talking points.

“I did not participate in the conversations,” Hassett said. “But it’s extremely normal for the treasury secretary to keep his finger on the pulse of financial markets. And right now, as you’ve mentioned, markets have been quite volatile. And they’ve headed down, something like 8 percent over the last few weeks. And when something like that goes on, then it’s absolutely natural for a treasury secretary to call people up and say ‘Hey, what are you seeing? Is there something going on I should know about?'”

Payne shot back, “Let’s be honest. The psychology…to make this a couple days from Christmas on a Sunday, it felt like a sense of panic.”

Watch above, via Fox Business.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: joed@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo