Yesterday, Donald Trump named his campaign finance chief: Steven Mnuchin, hedge-fund executive, controversial film financier, and son of art dealer Robert Mnuchin, whose Upper East Side gallery is currently showing a David Hammons retrospective. Trump, now a self-declared lover of Hispanics, has appointed the 53-year-old Wall Street banker and CEO of Dune Capital Management to help move his campaign beyond being “self-funded.” He cited Mnuchin’s “extensive and very successful financial background” and “unprecedented experience and expertise.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, however, Mnuchin junior has actually used much of that expertise in the past to decide to fund the presidential campaigns of Democrats. Over the years, he has donated money to John Edwards, John Kerry, and Al Gore; he even donated more than $7,000 to Hillary Clinton’s previous efforts to reach the White House, as well as the maximum amount allowed to Obama during the then-senator’s presidential campaign. The only Republican who’s received a sum of Mnuchin’s money is allegedly Mitt Romney. WSJ added that Mnuchin has not conferred any of his financial blessings on Clinton this election season.
Besides his birth into one of the art world’s most powerful families, Mnuchin has other cultural ties: Once a member of the boards of the Whitney Museum and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, he has since 2009 been a trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which championed him for his “business acumen and support of the arts.” Mnuchin’s donation record may draw Republicans’ concerns, but hopefully one result of Trump’s curious selection will be learning not to throw binders on top of priceless artworks.