On Tuesday, President Donald Trump joined Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in announcing the IRS' new EIP Cards, but he seemed to have only one thing on his mind: signing letters with his autograph on it. When Mnuchin displayed the prepaid debit card that many Americans will now be getting their stimulus check on, Trump asked: "Do I get to sign the letter again?" Whether he was joking or not, many viewers were left horrified.
Mnuchin was keeping the announcement light-hearted earlier this week, as seen in a clip from Fox news. He jokingly pointed out that Trump's name is on the card, though "there's no money for you on it." He handed the sample card to Trump, who smiled at it fondly before asking his question. Mnuchin answered, "Next time we send money, you'll get to sign another letter."
Sec. Steven Mnuchin: "We think debit cards are a safe and secure way of delivering refunds."
President Trump: "Do I sign the letter again or not?" pic.twitter.com/yk66WhCOfQ— The Hill (@thehill) May 19, 2020
Trump's signature has been a huge point of contention throughout the entire stimulus check process. Originally, the paper checks were delayed to have Trump's name affixed to the memo section, with The Washington Post reporting that Trump asked if he could sign the checks himself. He is not legally authorized to sign checks issued by the U.S. Treasury.
Later, Trump had a letter sent to every stimulus check recipient, which many criticized as a partisan campaign stunt. The stimulus checks were conceived and approved of by Congress and the Senate, with the president signing them into law. Many thought that the president should not be allowed to imply that he had been responsible for them so close to an election.
Given the hectic last few months, many Americans were not pleased to hear the president talking about doing something similar with the EIP Cards, even while some defenders claimed he was joking. Here's what Twitter had to say about Trump's signature quip on Tuesday.
Yaaaaaaaa knowwwwwwwwwwwwww— TG221 (@TG22110) May 19, 2020
Kiss Ass, that's Mnuchin.— Diane Gunty (@DianeGunty) May 19, 2020
Debit cards are also easier to steal— Dan_Stu (@stu_dan) May 19, 2020
wait? the debit card is for trump with his name on it or the debit cards going out with #COVID19 economic relief payments on them also will have trump's name somewhere on them?— Kay Bell (@taxtweet) May 19, 2020
It’s already becoming a very vague memory to me... Gawd I hope we can get these grifters gone in November!!— Romi Kamberg ✍ #HandMarkedPaperBallots ✍ (@romiabm) May 19, 2020
Millions of dollars on a debit card, delivered by mail... yet voting by mail is a problem? 🤔— Krista L Smith (@kristalsmith475) May 19, 2020