Remember the controversy stirred up by the New York Times last month about how the Trump administration was deliberately delaying the rollout of the Harriet Tubman $20 bill because racism? As it turns out, the report was bogus all along, according to officials from President Obama’s administration.
Fox News reports:
After Democrat lawmakers and commentators spent months hammering the Trump administration for supposedly delaying the release of a $20 bill featuring abolitionist Harriet Tubman, several officials appointed by President Barack Obama have reportedly admitted that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has followed the Obama timeline for producing the new currency.
The Obama administration said [in] 2016 that it wanted to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replace him with Tubman, who helped free slaves through the Underground Railroad, and that the bills would be ready in 2020. But a current “high-ranking government official” appointed by Obama, as well as a former official, confirmed to The Washington Post that the Tubman bill had “had “always been scheduled for release toward the end of the next decade.”
Obama Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s 2016 claims that a “final concept design” of the bill would be released in 2020 were viewed with skepticism internally, according to the report. Larry R. Felix, the director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing from 2006 to 2015, told The Post that too much security work needed to be done to realistically release the bill in 2020.
“Those announcements were not grounded in reality,” Felix said. “The U.S. had not at the time acquired the security features to redesign and protect the notes.”
Trump’s Treasury Dept. pushed back on the reports in June, noting the reasons for the delay in the rollout of the bill:
Treasury spokesperson response to today’s misleading New York Times story: pic.twitter.com/PeMcoVL8tC
— Treasury Public Affairs (@TreasurySpox) June 14, 2019
BEP Director Len Olijar, an Obama appointee, also issued a statement at the time which read, in part:
“As technology has evolved, banknote production has vastly changed over the last three decades. The next family of notes require new, overt and covert security features for the public, the banknote equipment manufacturers, and the central bank, to keep our currency safe and secure. Security features also need to work in mass production. A design can change during testing. The overwhelming success of the redesigned $100 in thwarting counterfeiting, is greatly due to the effectiveness of the blue security thread which is a public feature (and which a design was integrated around afterwards). That development alone of that security feature took approximately 10 years to finalize.
“Moreover, BEP was never going to unveil a note design in 2020. To keep our currency safe and secure, it is unwise to give counterfeiters a look at a potential future note far in advance of a note going into circulation. Additionally, if the concept of a note that was made public by the government were to change during that lengthy amount of time, it would create confusion in the global marketplace, further aiding counterfeiters.”
But those explanations were not good enough for The Usual Suspects like the frauds at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who blasted off about how the delay in the Tubman bill equated to more “racism” and “misogyny” from Trump, etc etc.
Will they walk back those false narratives now that news outlets they find reliable (like the Washington Post) and numerous officials from the Obama administration are confirming the Tubman bill was always going to be delayed? Don’t count on it.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –