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Mnuchin Pretty Much Put Trump’s Investigation of Google ‘Treason’ to Rest


The United States Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Wednesday said that Google’s work with the Chinese government does not raise concerns of treason, a prospect President Donald Trump mentioned just last week.

As previously reported by Law&Crime, after a July 16 Fox and Friends segment aired portions of an interview in which tech billionaire Peter Thiel accused Google of committing treason, Trump wrote, “Billionaire Tech Investor Peter Thiel believes Google should be investigated for treason. He accuses Google of working with the Chinese Government,” and added, “A great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone! The Trump Administration will take a look!”

President Trump last week also referred to Thiel as a “friend of mine,” a “tremendous contributor,” and “one of the top, maybe the top expert on all of those things,” before saying that based on his statements “our other agencies will be looking at [the accusations].” Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box Wednesday morning, Mnuchin addressed the administration’s inquiry into Google’s allegedly treasonous conduct.

“The president did look into that, as well as I, the CEO of Google was with us this week and we both had very direct discussions. They assured us that there is very, very  limited work – the only work they’re doing is some very minimal open source work,” he said. “They continue to do work with us in certain areas of DOD and I think Google is an American company that wants to help out the US.”

When asked specifically if Thiel’s comments were “misguided,” Mnuchin did not address Thiel’s accusations directly, but did seem to put an end to the matter overall.

“I don’t see any area, again, the president and I did diligence on this issue, and we’re not aware of any areas where Google is working with the Chinese government in a way that in any way that raises concerns,” Mnuchin said.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai met with Mnuchin and Trump earlier in the week to address Thiel’s comments about Google’s work with the Chinese government.

[image via CNBC screengrab]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.