Steven Mnuchin was a member of Sears’s board from 2005 until December 2016, and before that was a director for K-Mart Corp., which was acquired by Sears in 2005.
“Sears has been dying for many years,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House on Monday to inspect hurricane damage in Florida. “It’s been obviously improperly run for many years and it’s a shame.”
Treasury didn’t immediately respond to questions about Mnuchin’s service on the company’s board.
Mnuchin was a college roommate of Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert, who attended Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing for Treasury secretary in January 2017. Mnuchin cut his ties to Sears when he joined the Trump administration.
The retailing icon filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday and said it will attempt to reorganize around a smaller number of profitable stores. Lampert resigned as CEO, but he is negotiating a financing deal with the company.
“Somebody that is of my generation, Sears Roebuck was a big deal,” Trump said. “So it’s very sad to see.”