Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) interrupted Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin repeatedly at a House Financial Services Committee hearing Thursday, complaining about losing her speaking time and causing committee chairman Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas) to intervene.
As Mnuchin spoke, Waters stopped him and said, "Reclaiming my time" to assert her right to the time, even while that meant ignoring the chairman's guidelines. Waters wanted an answer to why she hadn't received a reply to her letter about Trump's financial connections to Russia on May 23, and Mnuchin said that he had been in frequent conversation with the House committee.
"I was going to answer that," he said. "Mr. Chairman, I thought when you read the rules, you acknowledged that I would not be interrupted."
"Reclaiming my time," Waters said repeatedly when Mnuchin started explaining how the Treasury Department cooperated with various committees. Mnuchin eventually asked about the rules because Waters was preventing him from talking, and Hensarling explained.
"We will give the gentlelady adequate time," Hensarling said.
"So the time belongs to the gentlelady from California, but I assure you, majority members will allow you to answer the question when it is our time," Hensarling told Mnuchin.
Mnuchin said Treasury officials spoke to the chief oversight counsel Wednesday before assuring Waters that they were responsive.
"We have been responsive and we are trying to coordinate with you the response, and we've suggested that you get the information through the other committees, but I would like to emphasize we believe we have been very responsive and will continue to do so," Mnuchin said before Waters interrupted again.
"Reclaiming my time," she said once again. "Thank you very much. You left a message."
"No, we didn't leave a message, we spoke to the chief oversight counsel—" Mnuchin began before Waters interrupted to repeat "reclaiming my time" over several more times. She contradicted his claim and then called on them to move on.
Waters is a vocal opponent of the Trump administration who has been nicknamed "Auntie Maxine" by her progressive fans. She has stated she does not "honor" the president and has repeatedly called for Donald Trump's impeachment.