The Trump administration is in an unethical league of its own

By Ronald Horvath | Mar 02, 2018

By Max Boot Columnist March 1 at 7:57 PM

"The corruption and malfeasance of the Trump administration is unprecedented in U.S. history. The only points of comparison are the Gilded Age scandals of the Grant administration, Teapot Dome under the Harding administration, and Watergate and the bribe-taking of Vice President Spiro Agnew during the Nixon administration. But this administration is already in an unethical league of its own. "


"The Department of Housing and Urban Development spent $31,000 for a dining set for Secretary Ben Carson’s office while programs for the poor were being slashed. The Environmental Protection Agency has been paying for Administrator Scott Pruitt to fly first class and be protected by a squadron of bodyguards so he doesn’t have to mix with the great unwashed in economy class. The Department of Veterans Affairs spent $122,334 for Secretary David Shulkin and his wife to take what looks like a pleasure trip to Europe last summer; Shulkin’s chief of staff is accused of doctoring emails and lying about what happened. The Department of Health and Human Services paid more than $400,000 for then-Secretary Tom Price to charter private aircraft — a scandal that forced his resignation."


The misconduct revealed during just one day this week — Wednesday — was worse than what presidents normally experience during an entire term. "

The day began with a typically deranged tweet from President Trump: “Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. . . . Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!” Translation: Trump is exercised that the Justice Department is following its normal procedures. Sessions fired back: “As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor.” Translation: The president is asking him to act without “integrity and honor.”

"This is part of a long pattern of the president pressuring the “beleaguered” Sessions — a.k.a. “Mr. Magoo” — to misuse his authority to shut down the special counsel investigation of Trump and to launch investigations of Trump’s political foes. Because Sessions won’t do that, Trump has tried to force him from office. "

"Later in the day the New York Times reported that Jared Kushner’s family company had received hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from companies whose executives met with him in his capacity as a senior White House aide. The previous day, The Post had reported that officials in the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico had discussed how they could manipulate the president’s son-in-law “by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience.” Oh, and don’t forget that during the transition in 2016, while Kushner was trying to refinance a family-owned office building, he met with a Russian banker close to the Kremlin and with executives of a Chinese insurance company that has since been taken over by the Chinese government. "

"Little wonder that the previous week Kushner lost his top-secret security clearance. The wonder is that a senior aide with such dodgy business dealings was allowed access for a full year to the government’s most sensitive secrets — and that he still works in the White House. This is the kind of nepotism that plagues dictatorships and is a defining characteristic of Trump’s kleptocratic rule.

Of course, we are still only scratching the surface of administration scandals. This is a president, after all, whose communications director quit on Wednesday after admitting to lying (but insists her resignation was unrelated); whose senior staff included an alleged wife-beater; whose former national security adviser and deputy campaign manager have pleaded guilty to felonies; whose onetime campaign chairman faces 27 criminal charges, including conspiracy against the United States; whose attorney paid off a porn star; and whose son mixed family and government business on a trip to India. Given the ethical direction set by this president, it’s a wonder that his Cabinet officers aren’t stealing spoons from their official dining rooms."

Comments (4)
Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Mar 04, 2018 18:41

"It’s all escalating. And we’ve learned over the last week that President Trump’s racket with Russia may be only one facet of his family’s political corruption. The level of apparent corruption, interlaced with numerous constitutional landmines, is beyond our national experience...  There’s a simpler explanation for all of this. The legal noose is tightening around the President, his family and top advisors. He is scared and angry."
-Josh Marshall,  It's  Worse Than We Thought,  March 4, 2018

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Mar 03, 2018 18:19

This rot goes deep.   "Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily dependent on steel last week, just days before Trump announced plans to impose steep tariffs on steel imports.

In a little-noticed SEC filing submitted on February 22, 2018, Icahn disclosed that he systematically sold off nearly 1 million shares of Manitowoc Company Inc. Manitowoc is a “is a leading global manufacturer of cranes and lifting solutions” and, therefore, heavily dependent on steel to make its products.

The filing came just seven days before a White House event where Trump announced his intention to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports."

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Mar 03, 2018 15:35

Tom Selleck; on Blue Bloods; shared an interesting quote last night that they attributed to Abraham Lincoln, "Sometimes you have to cut off the limb to save the tree." It may well be time for the Republican party to cut him loose.

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Mar 03, 2018 15:16

WOW! Well written and appalling! He did not get my vote. My alternative was Hillary. Enough said.

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