Withheld UCLA video shows Mnuchin heckling
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A previously withheld video has been released showing the near-constant heckling of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during a moderated talk about the economy at UCLA.
The university initially balked at releasing the video, saying that Mnuchin “subsequently withdrew” his agreement for it to be posted online.
The video shows audience members hissing at Mnuchin throughout the Feb. 26 event in Los Angeles. The hissing was so loud the secretary barely spoke a sentence without commenting about it.
Seven minutes into Mnuchin’s opening remarks, three different women shouted at him and were either carried or escorted out of the room by police after they ignored warnings to stop. They yelled that the U.S. is bullying North Korea and criticized President Trump’s tax legislation.
The decision to withhold the video drew criticism from students, free speech groups and members of the news media. Several organizations, including The Associated Press, filed public-records requests arguing for the video to be released.
UCLA agreed to release the video on Friday, saying in a statement only that it had received Mnuchin’s consent to do so.
Withholding the video at Mnuchin’s request and choosing to release it only after receiving his consent both are problematic decisions, said David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, one of the groups that argued for the release.