Steven Mnuchin was on the board of Sears when Trump said it was ‘improperly run’

Steven Mnuchin is sworn in as Treasury Secretary for the Trump Administration in 2017. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was for more than 10 years a member of the board at Sears, a company President Donald Trump described it as being “improperly run” after it filed for bankruptcy.

Sears, once the biggest retailer in the US, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday. Hours later, Trump told reporters that “Sears has been dying for many years.”

“It’s been obviously improperly run for many years and it’s a shame,” he said.

Mnuchin, who joined Trump’s campaign team in 2016 and was confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury in February 2017, was a member of Sears’s board from 2005 until December 2016, Bloomberg reported.

Previously, he was a director for K-Mart Corp., which Sears acquired in 2005.

Trump did not specify a time period for Sears being run “improperly”, but Mnuchin’s involvement spans much of the decline which preceded its filing for bankruptcy.

[Read more: The complete list of 142 Sears stores that are closing.]

Mnuchin was a college roommate of Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert, who attended Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing for Treasury secretary in January 2017, according to Bloomberg.

Mnuchin separated from Sears before joining the Trump administration.

Sears is closing 142 Sears and Kmart stores, with liquidation sales beginning immediately. Lampert has stepped down as CEO of the company but will remain chairman.

Sears has seen its sales cut in half since 2014, and more than 440 Sears stores will have closed by the end of the year.

A statement from the company on Monday said closing stores would give Sears the “flexibility to strengthen its balance sheet,” undergo a “strategic transformation,” and ultimately “return to profitability.”