In a back and forth that has set social media ablaze, Guns N’ Roses frontman and frequent Trump critic Axl Rose traded barbs with Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin Wednesday evening after an out of nowhere, contextless tweet by the rocker.
“It’s official! Whatever anyone may have previously thought of Steve Mnuchin he’s officially an a**hole,” Rose tweeted Wednesday evening without any reference to what action by Mnuchin inspired the post.
While the slam came out of left field, the response by the Treasury secretary was even more surprising. “What have you done for the country lately?” he replied in a post which initially included the Liberian flag, which looks like the U.S. flag but with just a single star. Mnuchin quickly replaced the post with the same comment but the correct flag.
Noticing Mnuchin’s initial “false flag,” Rose responded, “My bad I didn’t get we’re hoping 2 emulate Liberia’s economic model.”
Rose then hinted at why he had taken aim at Mnuchin in his initial post. “[U]nlike this admin I’m not responsible for 70k+ deaths n’ unlike u I don’t hold a fed gov position of responsibility 2 the American people n’ go on TV tellin them 2 travel the US during a pandemic,” the “Sweet Child o’ Mine” singer wrote.
It’s official! Whatever anyone may have previously thought of Steve Mnuchin he’s officially an asshole.
— Axl Rose (@axlrose) May 6, 2020
My bad I didn’t get we’re hoping 2 emulate Liberia’s economic model but on the real unlike this admin I’m not responsible for 70k+ deaths n’ unlike u I don’t hold a fed gov position of responsibility 2 the American people n’ go on TV tellin them 2 travel the US during a pandemic.
— Axl Rose (@axlrose) May 7, 2020
The Washington Post, which published a bemused piece on the bizarre Twitter feud, provides some context: On Monday, Mnuchin appeared on Fox Business Network, where he was asked by host Maria Bartiromo about how soon international travel might pick back up. While it’s “hard to tell,” Mnuchin responded, he suggested that, in the meantime, Americans should take the opportunity to “explore America.”
“A lot of people haven’t seen many parts of America,” he said. “I wish I could get back on the road soon.”
The entertaining feud prompted a flood of responses online, many cheering on Rose. “Axl vs Mnuchin is so 2020 and I AM HERE FOR IT,” wrote one of Rose’s 1.2 million followers. “Axl Rose dragging Steve Mnuchin is what I live for.”
“Good for U Axl. We need to Lock All Them Up,” wrote another. “The level of self-owning in the Trump Administration is staggering. Never knew Steve Mnuchin was the Treasury Secretary of Liberia,” wrote another, referencing the initial wrong flag emoji. “This is the Axl Rose I have loved since 1987,” wrote another fan.
But not everyone was on Rose’s side. “Axl Rose, world renowned financial expert weighs in on coronavirus relief efforts,” wrote Mark Dice.
“Just stick to singing really bad and showing up late,” wrote a Rose non-fan. “Wow good one Axl, I wonder what would happen if we put you in [Sec. Mnuchin]’s seat and you felt the immense pressure he just went through, would you perform to the same level?” wrote another. “Would you fold? Thanks [Sec. Mnuchin] the silent majority sees you!”
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