Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House’s Office of Budget and Management, told banking officials on Tuesday that while he was a congressman, he had a policy of only talking to lobbyists who donated to his campaign, the New York Times reported.
“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” Mulvaney said at an American Bankers Association conference in Washington, D.C., according to the New York Times. “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”
Mulvaney, who also serves as the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, added that his main priority as a congressman was his constituents.
“If you came from back home and sat in my lobby, I talked to you without exception, regardless of the financial contributions,” he said, per the New York Times.
When asked about Mulvaney’s comments about lobbyists, Mulvaney spokesman John Czwartacki told the New York Times, “He was making the point that hearing from people back home is vital to our democratic process and the most important thing our representatives can do. It’s more important than lobbyists and it’s more important than money.”
During the speech, Mulvaney also urged members of the banking industry to support his legislative proposals to curb the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s power.
Read the New York Times’ full report here.