It’s been another busy week for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) “acting director” Mick Mulvaney in his efforts to dismantle the agency he now runs. He continued to undermine the agency’s enforcement actions, dropping a case against a predatory lender that gave him thousands of dollars in campaign cash as a member of Congress, and sent a memo to staff outlining his ideological opposition to cracking down on Wall Street and financial predators.
It seems he was so busy, he didn’t have time for fact checking. In the memo to staff and in a subsequent opinion piece published by the Wall Street Journal, Mulvaney cites a quote from former CFPB Director Richard Cordray that he identifies as the source of his moral outrage. Turns out, it wasn’t something Cordray said. This morning, Politico magazine reporter Michael Grunwald tweeted:
Here’s a statement from Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress:
“With his sloppy and transparently anti-consumer actions this week, ‘acting director’ Mick Mulvaney isn’t just undermining the CFPB’s mission, he is undermining his own credibility.
“Mulvaney should retract his op-ed and immediately apologize to CFPB staff for basing his attacks on the work of the Bureau on an inaccurate smear. And next time he wants to use his post to broadcast his misinformed ideological ire, he should take the time to check his facts first.”
- Mulvaney claimed to have read a quote from Richard Cordray in which Cordray said “‘We wanted to send a message: There’s a new cop on the beat. . . . Pushing the envelope is a loaded phrase, but that’s absolutely what we did.'” “Then I read a quote from my predecessor, Richard Cordray, that highlighted how he ran the bureau: ‘We wanted to send a message: There’s a new cop on the beat. . . . Pushing the envelope is a loaded phrase, but that’s absolutely what we did.'” [Mick Mulvaney, “The CFPB Has Pushed Its Last Envelope,” The Wall Street Journal, 01/23/18]
- In an article in Politico, Michael Grunwald reported that “one former official” at the CFPB had said “‘We wanted to send a message: There’s a new cop on the beat…Pushing the envelope is a loaded phrase, but that’s absolutely what we did,'” however, that quote was not attributed to Richard Cordray. “The bureau promptly began churning out new rules of the financial road, starting with regulations cracking down on the skimpy underwriting and outright fraud that helped drive the mortgage crisis. It also launched a series of investigations, often targeting industry leaders in order to maximize the impact on the rest of the industry…One former official compared the approach to a new inmate who wants to project toughness on his first day inside, so he picks a fight with the biggest bully in the prison yard. ‘We wanted to send a message: There’s a new cop on the beat,’ he recalls. ‘Pushing the envelope is a loaded phrase, but that’s absolutely what we did.'” [Michael Grunwald, “Trump Wants to Dismantle Elizabeth Warren’s Agency. Good Luck With That,” Politico, 12/03/17]