So I’m going to say it, own it, and back it up with fact – the Trump administration is factually without a doubt the most corrupt administration to serve in the Presidency since the Nixon administration. Saying that, I’m sure there will be some Trump supporters who will read this post and say I’m totally wrong. To those people, I invite you to share facts (valid facts) which contradict this premise and prove me wrong. I’m confident you will not succeed in that endeavor.
First let’s talk about the obvious conflict of interest this administration has on a number of fronts. Most people enjoy working with their friends or people they know or are comfortable around. However, in government nepotism is not something to take lightly. The power exhibited by the executive branch of government is immense and far-reaching. For this reason, you rarely ever see friends or family members of a sitting President obtaining high lever positions in government. This avoids conflicts of interests and the appearance of corrupt behavior where people use the levers of government to advance their own personal agendas.
Unfortunately, with the Trump administration, this practice has taken a whole new form. For the first time in modern history the child of a sitting President will hold a government position in that President’s own administration. After ensuring the American public that she would not hold a position in government, Ivanka Trump recently announced that she would be taking a position in the White House. Ivanka has yet to explain how she will separate her business practices from her new duties in the White House. Ivanka will be joining her husband, Jared Kushner as a White House staffer. This makes two Trump family members who will be on the government payroll and helping to advance Trump policy. Jared Kushner, the owner of Kushner Companies was recently forced to end a deal with China for the development of a Fifth Avenue tower which had been planned during Kushner’s time in the White House. After members of Congress complained about the conflict of interest, Kushner Companies was forced to drop the deal.
This wasn’t the only conflict of interest pertaining to the Trump administration and China. When Trump first took office, he caused outrage on the international stage when he challenged the “One China policy”, which is the principle that insists both Taiwan and mainland China are inalienable parts of a single country. This policy has always been a sticking point with the Chinese government and was exacerbated when newly elected President Trump held a call with the Taiwanese President as one of his first acts after entering the White House. At the time, many people were confused as to what was behind Trump’s thinking, but weeks later it became clear why Trump was placing pressure on China. For years, the Trump Organization had been at odds with China over Donald Trump’s trademarks in the Chinese nation. Trump applied for several trademarks over the years and none of them were ever approved. That was until after Trump was elected President. After the election Trump placed undo pressure on China by cozying up to Taiwan. I think it’s clear that Trump used his position as President to benefit his own personal business.
There also remain unanswered questions related to the firing of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who after the election received a guarantee from the Trump administration that he would be allowed to remain in his position as U.S. Attorney in New York City. So, what changed, well, Bharara’s team began investigating the activities of Trump’s cabinet appointee Tom Price and his unethical behavior while in Congress. Price sold and traded stock while working on legislation which impacted the value of the stock he was selling. Price was essentially pulling the strings of government to enrich himself. So, the question remains, who in the Trump administration made the decision to cover-up corruption by firing the U.S. Attorney leading the Price investigation (??).
Many of the Trump administration scandals didn’t take place after the administration took office, but before. In December of 2016, Michal G. Flynn, the son of Gen. Michael T. Flynn was fired from the Trump transition team for propagating a Russian created fake news story about the Clinton campaign sexually abusing children at the Washington, DC restaurant Comet Ping Pong. This story eventually lead to a mentally disturbed individual who believed the fake news story, entered the restaurant with a gun and threating to kill employees. Yesterday, former FBI Intelligence agent Clinton Watts testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and spoke about the danger of the Trump administration and their connection to Russia and the propagation of fake news. Watts spoke about Russian “Active Measures”, which is the name given to the tactics used by Russia to destabilize our political process. Watts testified that these tactics have been successful due to a reason many people don’t want to discuss, which is the fact that our President has used these Russian tactics against his political enemies here in the United States. Watts provided two examples, one in August of 2016 and another in October of 2016 where the Trump team and Trump himself repeated fake Russian news stories in order to advance their own political agenda.
Also, just last evening we learned of yet again another scandal in the White House. Several months ago, Lt. Gen. McMasters was appointed to serve as Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor. A major part of his role includes running the National Security Council. Usually, NSC positions are non-political and reserved for knowledgeable senior staff who understand intelligence and have years of experience. After beginning in his new role, McMasters learned that a 30-year-old junior staff, Ezra Cohen-Watnick was promoted to the positon of Senior Intelligence Director. In understanding that Cohen-Watnick only had a few years of experience in the field of intelligence, McMasters fought to have the 30-year-old removed from the NSC. However, Trump himself intervened and advocated for the junior staff to remain in his position. At the time, no one understood why the Trump administration fought so hard to keep this young man in a senior position that he clearly wasn’t qualified for. Well, last evening we found out why. It was discovered that Cohen-Watnick was part of a group inside the White House who was sifting through intelligence to find evidence to support Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped by the Obama administration – a claim which has been proven to be dubious. So, it’s clear that Cohen-Watnick is a political hack who was installed on the NSC to do the political bidding of Donald Trump. This is unprecedented and unethical.
Shortly after the news broke about Cohen-Watnick and other White House insiders leaking intelligence information to Republicans on the Hill, news outlets were reporting the news that Gen. Michael Flynn is now requesting immunity from criminal prosecution in exchange for testifying against the Trump administration regarding what he knows about the Trump/Russian connections. While Republicans and the Trump administration are downplaying this news, it is a huge development which, if nothing else, shows that there is a story behind the Trump/Russian connection.
With all that said, it should be obvious to all voters that this current administration is in fact one of the most corrupt administration this country has ever seen. And again, the facts backup that statement. Unlike the fake outrage Trump supports expressed toward Hillary Clinton based on non-factual or Russian created conspiracy theories, this information is factual, widely reported, and corroborated by the intelligence community and fact checkers. Nevertheless, Trump supporters will continue to ignore facts and dismiss evidence which proves that their knight in shining armor is nothing more than a swindler and fraud who ascended to power on the wings of lies and deception. But for the open-minded, commonsense retaining patriots of this country, the burden is unfortunately on all of us to promote the truth and continue to disseminate facts over fiction. By continuing this work, hopefully, rational Trumps supporters will awaken, admit they were wrong and finally put country over party politics.