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Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during an appearance on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Wednesday dodged a question on whether former President Trump's false claim that the 2020 election was "stolen" is a lie.

Why it matters: It's another example of an influential voice on the right failing to bat down the claim. Dozens of Republican candidates seeking powerful statewide offices, including governor, attorney general and secretary of state, have promoted the false notion.

Eamon Javers (Host): When the former president says the election in November was stolen, do you believe that was a lie?
Mnuchin: Well let me just say, I was very involved in the campaign in 2016 and I traveled with the president across the country and was intricately involved in everything. In 2020, I wasn’t able to participate in the campaign and I was also focused on a massive amount of work in COVID. So, I’m really just watching this from the outside.
Javers: But even from the outside, I mean you were the Secretary of the Treasury. You had some access to the Trump administration — to the White House. You know how he campaigned, is it a lie for the former president to say the election was stolen?
Mnuchin: What I'm saying is Im focused on our investments, our business going forward. I think the president's policies were extraordinary in COVID, whether it's the vaccines or other issues. Or the work we did under COVID, the bipartisan support we had, to get the economy recovered.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 20, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado GOP still looking for a winning U.S. Senate candidate

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The herd of Republican candidates storming into the U.S. Senate race is kicking up so much dust it's clouding the party's chances of winning a crucial seat in the 2022 election.

State of play: Nine GOP contenders have filed paperwork to run for the party's nomination — and a chance to challenge Sen. Michael Bennet — and more candidates are expected to enter in coming months.

McConnell: GOP should move past Trump's "rehash" of 2020 election

Former President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell at the White House. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday that Republicans should be looking to "the future and not the past" when asked about how comfortable he was with the GOP "embracing" former President Trump.

Why it matters: CNN's Manu Raju posed the question after Trump attended a GOP retreat last week, noting that McConnell had said the former president was "morally responsible for provoking the events" on the day of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, per Business Insider.

Fed: Rate hikes "will soon be appropriate"

The Federal Reserve's headquarters building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Federal Reserve officials expect "it will soon be appropriate" to raise the central bank's main target interest rate, setting the stage for a rate hike at its next meeting in mid-March.

Driving the news: In a statement following a two-day meeting published Wednesday afternoon, however, the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee teed up its next move without taking new action.