Video shows Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin being heckled at UCLA event

PHOTO: Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Washington, D.C., March 7, 2018.PlayAndrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WATCH Video shows Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin being heckled at UCLA event

In a video recently released by the University of California, Los Angeles, some of those gathered for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's scheduled talk on the U.S. economy began hissing before he even uttered his first word.

"The only part of this that I understand that you wanted to hiss was my going to Yale," Mnuchin joked during the Feb. 26 event. "That is completely understandable."

Despite garnering laughs and applause from the crowd for his quip, his hecklers were not deterred and intermittently hissed throughout the event.

Treasury Department officials had an agreement with organizers to post the video of Secretary Mnuchin’s lecture online following the event, but officials then withdrew their consent to post the video, according to Peggy McInerny, director of communications for the UCLA International Institute.

"The Treasury Department was aware that the video was the subject of Public Records Act requests and would be made available to requestors through that process on March 9," McInery told ABC News in a statement.

The Treasury Department confirmed it supported the video's release.

"We supported the release of the full video of Secretary Mnuchin’s interview at the University. Our prior objection was providing a platform for the non-student protestors, who sought to disrupt the event, at the expense of the otherwise thoughtful discussion," a Treasury spokesperson told ABC News in a statement.

PHOTO: Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, speaking at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in New York City, March 8, 2018.Michael Brochstein/LightRocket via Getty Images
Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, speaking at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in New York City, March 8, 2018.

Mnuchin has faced scrutiny over requesting a government plane for his honeymoon to Europe, though he did not end up using the taxpayer-funded jet to fly there after his agency's Office of Inspector General looked into the request. There have also been other questions about his reported use of a government jet to Kentucky in August, which the inspector general reviewed, and his wife's Instagram photos of her lifestyle as the spouse of a cabinet member.

According to the UCLA International Institute video, Mnuchin's response to the disruption alternated. Sometimes he used humor, sometimes he ignored the noise and sometimes he tried to engage his detractors in conversation.

"You don't want positive impact on communities?" he asked after a hiss, singling one heckler out. "Can we get a little feedback why you don't like opportunity zones?"

Mnuchin was met with an expletive from the audience member in response.

Three women interrupted Mnuchin in succession by shouting from the back of the room.

"You are a pig!" yelled the third, moments before being drug out of the room by police, as were the other two before her.

During the question and answer period, a student asked Mnuchin for advice on how to foster an environment "more conducive to discussion."

"I think it's an obligation of all of ours to be able to listen, and whether you agree or disagree, you should hear people's views," Mnuchin said. "So that's why I came here."

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