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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he will protect President Trump's privacy if he receives a request from House Democrats for the president's tax returns, per NBC.

Driving the news: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) is expected to formally ask for Trump's tax returns as House Democrats continue to lay the groundwork for investigating the president's financial deals and interests.

"We will examine the request and we will follow the law ... and we will protect the president as we would protect any taxpayer regarding their right to privacy."
— Mnuchin at Thursday's House Ways and Means Committee hearing

Go deeper: At Michael Cohen's hearing, AOC sets stage for Dems to go after Trump's tax returns

Go deeper

9 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.