Trump’s Corruption: The Definitive List Of course, it's a long one.
The many ways that the president, his family and his aides are lining their own pockets.
By David Leonhardt and Ian Prasad Philbrick
Oct. 28, 2018
President Trump, his family and many of the people he has hired are profiting from his presidency. Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times
They don’t even try very hard to hide it.
President Trump, his family and more than a few of his appointees are using his presidency to enrich themselves. They are spending taxpayer dollars for their own benefit. They are accepting sweetheart deals from foreigners. And they are harnessing the power of the federal government on behalf of their businesses.
There’s a word for this: corruption.
[...] Trump and Family
Foreigners are paying the Trumps.
A few days after the 2016 election, the government of Kuwait canceled a planned event at the Four Seasons Hotel. It instead held the event — a celebration of Kuwait’s National Day — at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
[...] Americans are paying the Trumps.
American officials and business leaders have also spent money at Trump properties .. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/politics/trump-hotel-events/
, sometimes in an apparent effort to please the president. Gov. Paul LePage of Maine last year stayed .. https://www.pressherald.com/2017/07/23/luxury-hotels-fine-dining-for-lepage-on-taxpayers-dime-records-review-show-lepage-administration-spent-35000-on-d-c-trips/?rel=related&rel=related
.. at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Other Republicans have held campaign fund-raisers and party events at the properties. So have corporate lobbyists.
[...] Trump Inc. is expanding overseas.
During Trump’s presidency, his companies have pushed to expand overseas, with help from foreign governments. One example: In May, an Indonesian real-estate project that involves the Trump Organization reportedly received .. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/5/15/17355202/trump-zte-indonesia-lido-city
.. a $500 million loan from a company owned by the Chinese government. Two days later, Trump tweeted that he was working to lift sanctions on a Chinese telecommunications firm with close ties to the government — over the objections of both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. He ultimately did lift .. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/business/us-china-zte-deal.html?module=inline
.. the sanctions.
[...] Kushner Inc. is wooing foreign investment.
[...] The presidency has become a branding opportunity.
[...] Taxpayers are subsidizing the Trumps.
Trump has visited or stayed at one of his properties almost one out of every three days that he has been president, according to both The Wall Street Journal .. https://www.wsj.com/articles/president-trump-spent-nearly-one-third-of-first-year-in-office-at-trump-owned-properties-1514206800?mg=prod/accounts-wsj
.. and NBC News .. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/how-much-time-trump-spending-trump-properties-n753366
. Like previous presidents, Trump travels with a large group of staff and security personnel, and American taxpayers typically foot at least part of the bill for the trips. Unlike previous presidents, Trump is directing money to his own business on his trips.
In one three-month period last year, the Secret Service spent about $63,000 .. https://money.cnn.com/2017/10/12/news/secret-service-mar-a-lago/index.html
.. at Mar-a-Lago and more than $137,000 .. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/10/05/secret-service-spent-137-k-golf-carts-protect-trump-new-jersey-florida-clubs/736618001/
.. on golf carts at Trump’s Florida and New Jersey clubs.
[...] Trump Inc. gets special protection.
The president personally intervened .. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/us/politics/fbi-headquarters-building-trump.html?action=click&module=inline&pgtype=Homepage
.. in a plan to relocate the F.B.I.’s Washington headquarters, apparently to protect Trump International Hotel, which is about a block away. If the F.B.I. had moved, its current site would most likely have been turned into a commercial development, and the long construction process — as well as potential for a new hotel on the site — could have hurt the Trump hotel.
[...] Trump’s Cabinet, Aides and Allies
Friendly businesses also get special treatment.
The Education Department during the Obama administration aggressively regulated for-profit colleges — many of which have miserable records, often taking money from students without providing a useful education. Trump chose Betsy DeVos, a longtime advocate of these colleges and an investor in them, as his education secretary. She, not surprisingly, has gone easy on for-profit colleges. Among other moves .. https://abcnews.go.com/US/exclusive-profit-college-executive-shaped-education-department-policy/story?id=55108981
, she has reassigned .. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/13/business/education-department-for-profit-colleges.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&module=inline
.. the members of an department team investigating potentially fraudulent activities at for-profit colleges.
DeVos is the most blatant example of administration officials protecting companies where they once worked, but there are many others. More than 164 former lobbyists work in the administration, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, including several who regulate the industries that once paid their salaries. Geoff Burr, who pushed for more lax workplace safety laws when he was the chief lobbyist for a construction group, now works .. https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-before-would-have-no-problem-banning-lobbyists-trump-now-youre-hired
.. at the Department of Labor. Andrew Wheeler .. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/climate/andrew-wheeler-epa-lobbying.html?module=inline
, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, was previously a lobbyist whose firm was paid millions of dollars by companies whose industries he now regulates. Insert: That's called dirtying an area of government which was cleaner before. As Trump said, cleaning the swamp. Family, friends and donors get perks.
The president and his aides have repeatedly shown they are willing to use the government’s prestige and power to help their friends and relatives make money.
[...] Cabinet officials make unethical stock trades.
Several Trump officials — current and former — have traded stocks while serving in top government positions. In some cases, they appear to have made policy decisions benefiting the companies in which they owned a stake.
Tom Price, Trump’s first secretary of health and human services, epitomized this form of corruption. Trump chose him despite his history of using his seat in Congress to make money. Price had a long record .. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/opinion/tom-price-dr-personal-enrichment.html?_r=0&module=inline
.. of putting the interests of drug companies above those of taxpayers and patients — and then investing in those drug companies on the side.
Brenda Fitzgerald, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, committed a more mild version of this sin. She purchased shares .. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/31/cdc-director-resigns-over-financial-conflicts-380206
.. in food, drug and tobacco companies after taking charge of an agency that regulates them — and that aims to reduce smoking. After her purchases became public, she resigned.
Finally, Wilbur Ross,
[...] Trump’s orbit receives cash.
[...] Cabinet officials take junkets.
[...] Trump’s team enjoys interior decorating.
[...] Where is Congress?
It has shirked its constitutional duty.
The biggest scandal of all, however, is not even the corruption of the Trump administration. It’s the inaction of Congress.
President Trump's motorcade driving to dinner last month at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Al Drago for The New York Times
The founders were well aware that the government they were creating could end up with corrupt or unethical leaders, all the way up to the president. That’s why the Constitution gives Congress tremendous power to investigate and even remove officials in the executive branch. Yet the current congressional leaders — the Republican leaders — have refused to do so. They have shirked their duty to act as a check on the president and his appointees. They have instead defended Trump and made excuses on his behalf. They have enabled the most corrupt administration of our lifetimes. What’s missing from this list? If you think there are other examples that should appear on this list, email us at email@example.com. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/28/opinion/trump-administration-corruption-conflicts.html