Levels of corruption in federal government reach frightening levels
WASHINGTON – The most terrifying thing this Halloween is much more real and more frightening than any ghost, zombie, or vampire: it’s the flagrant corruption plaguing the Trump administration.
“In the Trump administration, rampant corruption has become the new norm for our public officials,” said Lizzy Price, director of Restore Public Trust. “From Secretary Ross’ refusal to divest from assets in private companies to Secretary Chao’s favoritism towards Kentucky, the state her husband Mitch McConnell represents in the Senate, to Secretary Azar’s prioritization of Big Pharma profits over Americans’ health, corrupt and unethical behavior by members of Trump’s Cabinet runs the full gamut. Americans deserve elected officials who will put their lives ahead of selfish financial and political gains.”
With so much focus this month on corrupt actions by President Trump himself, it is crucial to remember the egregious abuses of power in which some of his top officials are also engaging. Some of the most alarming instances include:
Elaine Chao’s Kentucky favoritism.
- Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has paid undue, unfair attention to Kentucky, the state where her husband, Mitch McConnell, faces a tough reelection fight next year. Chao has directed millions in federal grant money to Kentucky through her role leading the DOT, and even tasked her chief of staff with serving as a “special liaison” to help with Kentucky-based priorities from McConnell.
John Kelly’s child detention profits.
- The Trump administration’s move towards privatizing migrant detention centers included contracting with Caliburn, a company whose board includes John Kelly, Trump’s former chief of staff. With Caliburn’s facility housing one in four migrant children in custody, Kelly — who helped enact Trump’s horrific child separation policy — stands to profit significantly off the administration’s decision.
Wilbur Ross’ “bad faith” actions.
- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross pushed to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census that would have led to inaccurate census data, a move that the Washington Post Editorial Board and a federal judge alike slammed as Ross acting “in bad faith” and in violation of the constitution. Ross also did not divest his financial assets, despite being told to by ethics officials, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest.
Azar’s Big Pharma-Health Department revolving door.
- Health Secretary Alex Azar stacked the health department with officials who have ties to Big Pharma. In 2019, there were at least 6 high-ranking Trump administration employees who worked as lobbyists for pharmaceutical companies, and at least 24 Big Pharma companies and lobbying groups were represented in the administration. All the while, Azar has failed to lower drug prices and these companies’ profits have remained sky-high.
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