CNBC's Jim Cramer predicts repercussions for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for making President Donald Trump look bad over the cancellation of last week's planned tour by Chinese trade officials of Montana and Nebraska farms.
Mnuchin clearly took the president off guard, at a Monday meeting at the United Nations, saying that U.S. officials asked the Chinese delegation to call off their tour of U.S. farms — not the other way around.
The president wants China to buy more U.S. agriculture products as part of any trade deal with Beijing.
If "The Apprentice" Trump instead of President Trump were there, Mnuchin would have been fired on the spot, Cramer said on CNBC on Tuesday.
Carl Quintanilla, co-host of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," asked Cramer to clarify that statement: "Are you saying the Treasury secretary's job is at risk? Is that your point, that Mnuchin is going to be punished somehow?"
Cramer responded by saying, "Oh yeah. What are you going to make the president look bad in front of everybody?"
However, the "Mad Money" host never came right out and said specifically whether he believes Mnuchin will be fired or just reprimanded.
It all started with plans for a group of Chinese officials, who were in Washington last week for trade talks, to tack-on a tour of American farms to the end of their U.S. trip.
However, Montana Farm Bureau official Nicole Rolf said on Friday the Chinese delegation canceled their visit. Nebraska agriculture officials said the same thing.
"The market went down because Nicole Rolf told CNBC that the Chinese stiffed us. But we stiffed the Chinese," Cramer said, questioning why Mnuchin would have allowed the "Chinese stiffed us" narrative to stand all weekend.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 160 points on Friday. The Dow was little changed Monday, and started Tuesday off higher but gave up those gains.
"Maybe we're playing some new kind of hardball with the Chinese? I don't think so because the president was not aware of it," Cramer said. "The president looked foolish. And I don't think the president should be made to look like a fool."
"I think someone is going down the elevator here," Cramer predicted, in a reference to the ride contestants took from the top floor after they were fired by Trump on his old TV show "The Apprentice."
The White House and Treasury were not immediately available to respond to CNBC's request for comment on Cramer's remarks.