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Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed at a House Financial Services Committee hearing that he has never spoken with Trump "or anyone in the White House about delivering the president's tax returns to Congress."

Why it matters: Mnuchin rejected a House Ways and Means Committee subpoena to turn over Trump's personal and business tax returns last week, arguing that it lacked "a legitimate legislative purpose." Last night, the Washington Post reported that a "confidential draft IRS memo" contradicted the administration's opposition to releasing President Trump's tax returns. The memo says the president's tax returns "must be given to Congress" unless he invokes executive privilege, per the Post.

  • Asked about the memo in the hearing, Mnuchin said: "The memo was marked 'draft,' it was not a final memo. I don't know how it got to the Washington Post, it would have been more interesting if it had got to me or the commissioner to review." He claimed he briefly read the memo on his way to his appearance.
  • Mnuchin also said that it would be "unlawful" for him to turn over Trump's tax returns, and that the Justice Department has assured him of this.

The big picture: The administration has long sought to prevent Congress from obtaining Trump's tax returns, even though the president repeatedly said he would release the documents while campaigning in 2016. White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News last month that Democrats will "never" get Trump's tax returns.

Go deeper: IRS draft memo says Trump must turn over tax returns or assert executive privilege

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fall and winter COVID surge "unlikely" if people get vaccinated.
  2. Politics: School boards are the next political battleground.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA vaccine approval — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Kevin McCarthy officially endorses Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) officially endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to become the GOP's next House Republican conference chair during a Fox News appearance Sunday.

Why it matters: The GOP has been feuding internally over the fate of the current chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), because of her criticisms of former President Donald Trump, and her vote to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Fauci: Vaccines could turn COVID-19 "surges" into "blips"

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday that if more Americans get vaccinated in accordance with the Biden administration's goals, COVID-19 surges may be replaced by "blips."

State of play: Last week President Joe Biden announced his goal to get 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4, with at least 70% of Americans having at least one shot.