Trump said he doesn't think that Mnuchin, who is also being investigated for his use of a private jet in August, has misused federal dollars for his travel accommodations.
"Players have the right for free speech off the field", he stated.
"The NFL has all different types of rules", Mnuchin said, pointing to the many restrictions on player conduct that teams put in place, and the teams' ability, within certain constraints, to punish players who violate those rules.
Trump's comments drew a quick rebuke from some prominent athletes, notable among them National Basketball Association star Stephen Curry, who said that he would not be joining his team, the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, during a (then) planned visit to the White House. "You can't have stickers on your helmet".
He doubled down on his comments Sunday, taking to Twitter to criticize the NFL's ratings and encourage fans to boycott upcoming games.
Smith, Hunt guide Chiefs by winless Chargers
Unable to get into the end zone, the Chiefs would later settle for a Cairo Santos 34 yard field goal late in the second quarter. Rivers tossed his third interception of the half - his career-high is four in a game - and the Chiefs cashed in again.
Players with the Jackson Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens responded Sunday morning to Trump's demands that owners suspend or fire players who protested the national anthem. "This is about respect for the military and first responders in the country". "This is about respect for lots of people, and I don't understand why there's rules that when the Dallas Cowboys wanted to put stickers on their helmets out of respect for people there, they couldn't do it, but now the National Football League is saying people should be able to decide what they want to do and disrespect the United States flag".
"The president believes it is his role to improve race relations", Short said on NBC's "Meet the Press".
"I had a secure call that day that was critical, and set up, and needed to be done at that time", Mnuchin said.
Last year, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" ahead of kickoff, sparking both support and backlash.