Sen. Jeff Merkley Pins Down Trump’s Nominee For Top Budget Post on “Alternative Facts”

Today the Senate Budget Committee grilled U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget.

As an aide held up photos of the crowd from the 2009 inauguration of former President Barack Obama and the 2017 Trump inauguration, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) asked Mulvaney which crowd appeared bigger.

“It does appear that the [Obama] crowd on the left hand side is bigger,” Mulvaney replied.

That, of course, is contrary to the claims Trump and his team are making.

Having established Mulvaney’s ability to acknowledge reality, Merkley pivoted to budgeting and tax policy.

“The president and his team want to embrace a fantasy rather than a reality,” Merkley said. “Are you comfortable presenting falsehoods as facts?”

Mulvaney didn’t take the bait. “I’m deadly serious about giving you hard numbers,” he said.

Merkley then tried to draw Mulvaney into a discussion of tax policy—and specifically, his views on whether previous Republican tax cuts for the rich, like the ones that Trump is proposing, have been effective.