May 16, 2022

Steven Mnuchin

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

Cybereason CEO said he and his company are accepting the 2020 presidential election results after one of their investors, Steven Mnuchin, refused to acknowledge that ex-President Donald Trump spread a lie about manipulating competition.

In an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday morning, Mnuchin was asked several times to acknowledge that Trump lied about the 2020 election. Each time he dodged the question and tried to change the theme of his company’s investment in the Israeli cybersecurity company.

“I’m focused on our investments, our business for the future,” said Mnuchin. He said he stayed out of the 2020 campaign and its aftermath.

After being asked one last time about Trump’s election lie, he said he believed American democracy was working – and he hoped Trump would consider running again.

“We have a great democracy. It worked. It worked. I hope the President [Trump] is considering taking to the streets again, “said Mnuchin, a wealthy businessman, investor and film financier.

In statements to the media and in interviews with sympathetic television presenters such as Maria Bartiromo from Fox Business, Trump pushed ahead with what has become known as “the big lie”.

The House of Representatives, including several Republican members, voted to indict Trump for fueling the deadly January 6 riot on Capitol Hill that followed a “Stop the Steal” rally headlined by the then president. The pro-Trump invaders – some of whom sang “Hang Mike Pence,” who was Vice President – delayed Congressional confirmation of Joe Biden’s election victory by several hours.

The Senate acquitted Trump after he stepped down, despite several GOP senators voting in favor of a conviction.

Mnuchin was joined for the interview on Squawk Box by Cybereason CEO Lior Div, who announced that the former Treasury Secretary’s new private equity firm is leading a $ 275 million investment in the company.

In a follow-up statement to CNBC, Div suggested that Mnuchin’s answers had been misinterpreted and that his position would not affect the company’s relationship with former Treasury Secretary Liberty Strategic Capital.

“With all due respect, I don’t think the secretary said that, and regardless, it certainly doesn’t affect his relationship with Cybereason,” Div said in a statement a company spokesman aired on CNBC on Wednesday.

“We have no political motives and we chose to work with Liberty because of their massive network and understanding of financial and government markets that Ministers Mnuchin and General Dunford bring to Cybereason. For example, the executive order issued by the Biden government has accelerated the importance of EDR solutions like ours in the public market, and Liberty has the relationships to accelerate our go-to-market strategy in the federal sector. “

A Cybereason spokesman initially failed to respond to requests for additional comments prior to publication.

After the release, the spokesman sent another comment from Div saying the company supported the 2020 election result and President Biden’s administration.

“Cybereason supports the 2020 election results and the Biden government. Our connection with Liberty is not political, it is a strategic partnership designed to help us further penetrate key markets, including government, ”said Div. “Both Secretary Mnuchin and General Dunford (appointed by [President] Obama to his Joint Chiefs of Staff) are part of Liberty Strategic Capital. Secretary Mnuchin will join our Board of Directors and General Dunford will join our Advisory Board. “

Div itself also supports the 2020 election results and the new Biden administration, a spokeswoman told CNBC.

The incident is the latest example of companies considering whether to speak up on political issues, especially when it comes to their investors and employees.

After Georgia passed electoral laws that critics deemed restrictive, companies felt pressured to respond. Several did so, including Major League Baseball, which moved its all-star game from Georgia to Colorado.

In one of the most recent examples of pressure, Toyota stopped making campaign contributions to Republican lawmakers that challenged election results.