First, a correction: President Trump said the announcement on tax reform would come Wednesday, not Thursday:
"And we'll be having a big announcement next Wednesday having to do with tax reform. The process has begun long ago. But it really formally begins on Wednesday. So go to it," Trump said. "All right, Mr. President," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin responded.
The president spoke in the Treasury secretary's third floor corner office, at a presidential lectern between the secretary's desk and a fireplace with a portrait of Alexander Hamilton above it. Mnuchin started with short remarks explaining the executive orders.
Trump began: "I went through that beautiful hallway with those incredible paintings of every secretary," he said, saying he wished he could stop and listen to stories about each one. He said Mnuchin was one of the best. " I think Hamilton is tough to beat, but maybe you can do that too," he told the secretary.
"The Treasury Department is the guardian of America's wealth and a symbol of America's prestige," Trump said. He said Hamilton "understood that the government must protect the jobs of our citizens and the wealth of our nation."
He touted "unprecedented action" in his administration. "We've lifted one terrible regulation after another at a record clip from the energy sector to the auto sector," he said. "We're now in the process of rebuilding America and there's a new optimism sweeping our country that people have not seen in decades."
He threw in a reference to NATO: "Protecting our Treasury means getting other countries to finally pay their fair share for the cost of defense."
On the desk during the signing were a china teacup, a phone, a box of pens, and two wooden boxes labelled "incoming" and "outgoing."
President for the signing ceremony were: Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y. and Sen. David Perdue R-Ga. Trump gave the first pen to the senator, who gave it to the congresswoman.
Also present: Mnuchin's fiancÚ, Louise Linton. White House staff accompanying Trump waited in the outer office.
The entire event lasted about 12 minutes.