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Is this Presidential? Trump's Administration

Updated: Jan 13



This is second in series of blogs covering Donald Trump's statements and behaviors before, during, and after serving as President. The focus of this post is on the Trump Administration,


Vote4Change strives to provide relevant and accurate information to help Americans to cast informed votes that can make a difference. Information provided in this blog contains hyperlinks to all media sources quoted.




The most obvious representatives of President Trump’s rogues gallery are the former campaign or administration officials who have been convicted of committing crimes.

In total, eight Trump associates [currently now at 11] have been arrested or convicted of crimes. The most chilling and well-known are the officials who were also White House employees:


 Michael Flynn, the retired Army lieutenant general who served as Trump’s national security adviser for less than a month in 2017, and later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Russia’s ambassador to the United States during the Trump transition, and


Steve Bannon, Trump’s former White house chief strategist who was recently charged with defrauding supporters of a campaign to help build Trump’s border wall that Trump said Mexico was going to pay for.


The other 6 Trump Presidential Associates arrested or convicted. From Reuters; Factbox: Here are the eight Trump associates arrested or convicted; August 2023


Roger Stone, Trump's longtime friend and adviser, was convicted of lying under oath to lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

A Washington jury in November 2019 convicted Stone on all seven criminal counts of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress, and tampering with a witness.

The day before Stone was due to report to prison to begin serving a sentence of three years and four months, Trump commuted his sentence.


Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax fraud and bank fraud in a jury trial in August 2018. A month later, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to money laundering, lobbying violations and witness tampering.

Prosecutors said he tried to conceal millions of dollars he was paid as a political consultant for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians.

He was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison and in May was released to finish his sentence at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Trump's former personal lawyer is serving a three-year prison sentence at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. He pleaded guilty in August 2018 to crimes including orchestrating 'hush money' payments before the 2016 election to women who had said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

Cohen also pleaded guilty in November 2018 to lying to Congress about negotiations concerning a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow, a project that never materialized. He said Trump implicitly directed him to lie about the project.

Trump has denied those allegations.


The former deputy chairman of Trump's campaign pleaded guilty in February 2018 to conspiracy against the United States and lying to investigators. Gates agreed to cooperate with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller and testified as a prosecution witness against Manafort, his former business partner, and Stone. Gates was sentenced in December 2019 to 45 days in jail.


George Nader, an informal Trump adviser on foreign policy and witness in the Mueller investigation, was sentenced in June to 10 years in prison by a federal judge in Virginia. He pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and bringing a boy to the United States for sex.

 

The former Trump campaign adviser was sentenced in September 2018 to 14 days in prison after pleading guilty in October 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials and a Maltese professor who told him the Russians had "dirt" on Clinton.


CNN  in July 2021 now reports 11 Trump associates have been charges with crimes


TOM BARRACK:

Barrack was charged on seven counts on Tuesday. The allegations, according to the indictment, center on the idea that Barrack used his closeness to Trump to “advance the interests of and provide intelligence to the UAE while simultaneously failing to notify the Attorney General that their actions were taken at the direction of senior UAE officials.” Following Trump’s 2016 victory, Barrack asked UAE officials to provide him with a “wish list” they hoped for from the administration over the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. “The defendant is charged with acting under the direction or control of the most senior leaders of the U.A.E. over a course of years,” wrote the prosecutors of Barrack.


ELLIOTT BROIDY:

Broidy, a top fundraiser for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, pleaded guilty in October 2020 to conducted a secret lobbying campaign in exchange for millions of dollars. As CNN’s Kara Scannell wrote at the time of his Broidy’s guilty plea: “Broidy was charged earlier this month with conspiracy for failing to register and disclose his role in a lobbying effort aimed at stopping a criminal investigation into massive fraud at a Malaysian investment fund and advocating for the removal of a Chinese billionaire living in the US.”


 ALLEN WEISSELBERG:

Earlier this month, the longtime chief financial officer for the Trump Organization was charged with tax crimes tied to perks he was given in lieu of salary. “All told, the indictment alleged, Weisselberg evaded taxes on $1.76 million in income over a period beginning in 2005 and concealed for years that he was a resident of New York City, thereby avoiding paying city income taxes,” wrote CNN”s Erica Orden, Kara Scannell and Sonia Moghe. Weisselberg pleaded not guilty. The Trump Organization, which was also indicted and has pleaded not guilty, called the Weisselberg a “pawn in a scorched-earth attempt to harm the former president.”

 

 

Corruption in the Cabinet:  [from CREW website] 


Donald Trump’s cabinet has emerged as perhaps the most ethically challenged in American history.


CREW found that Interior Secretary Zinke racked up 18 investigations into his behavior including allegations of lavish spending and travel as well as whistleblower retaliation before he was forced to resign.


Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has been the subject of numerous complaints of ethical misconduct, including allegations that he made false statements to OGE when he misrepresented he divested certain stock holdings before actually doing so and that he violated the STOCK Act and other insider trading laws by engaging in short sale transactions.


CREW also filed a criminal complaint against Ross for possibly violating federal conflict of interest laws by participating in multiple meetings with companies tied to his financial interests.


Health and Human Services Tom Price resigned abruptly after CREW and others exposed his inappropriate use of hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on unnecessary private jet travel. 

 


Bill Barr’s Department of Justice   [from CREW website] 


Since being sworn in as attorney general February 14, 2019, Barr has made numerous decisions that run counter to DOJ precedent and threaten the department’s ability to carry out fair and impartial justice. In several of these instances, Barr took deliberate actions to misconstrue information, sow discord among the American people, and punish elected and appointed officials whose actions posed a legal threat to the president and his allies.


Barr’s involvement in the dispersal of peaceful protesters for racial justice from Lafayette Square using tear gas, crystallized Barr’s integral role in facilitating Trump’s racism and corruption. He has intervened in prosecutions and civil cases for the benefit of the president and fired a prominent U.S. Attorney who was investigating people close to the president.


CREW has released a report and op-ed calling for the impeachment of Barr, outlining all of his abuses of power. A CREW petition demanding his resignation received over 100,000 signatures. 


Firing Comey and Potential Acts of Obstruction [from CREW website] 


Even before appointing Barr to be the president’s personal protector, the Trump administration flouted the rule of law. Trump made statements consistently making clear his anger about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and he apparently pressured Director Comey to end at least one piece of it.


The statements suggest that Comey may have in fact been fired to bring about that result. CREW called for an investigation into the president’s potential obstruction of justice by firing Comey to impede the investigation.


Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation uncovered evidence of multiple different instances of obstruction of justice by the president. 


Interference in DOJ Investigations [from CREW website] 


After the Mueller investigation into Trump’s actions in the election and his decision to fire Director Comey, Barr declined to bring obstruction charges against Trump. CREW called for the DOJ to release an unredacted copy of the report.


In addition, CREW filed a complaint against Barr for his public comments about U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe strongly criticized the FBI and its employees. Barr’s statements have garnered public attention and appear to constitute direct violations of DOJ rules and the standards of ethical conduct to which all executive branch employees must adhere.


Barr has stated that he personally intervenes in cases involving President Trump and his cronies, and his heavy-handed involvement to overturn career prosecutors to push for a lower sentence  for the president’s friend Roger Stone and to push to dismiss charges against Michael Flynn, who had twice admitted in court to his crimes, twisted the justice system to benefit the president in unprecedented ways.


Assault on Inspectors General: [from CREW website] 


President Trump has always been hostile toward oversight and accountability, but his attacks on inspectors general have become both more frequent in 2020 including firing the State Department OIG investigating misconduct by Secretary of State Pompeo as well as the intelligence Community IG who reported the Ukraine whistleblower complaint to Congress.


Since Trump took office, he has left numerous IG posts vacant for significant periods of time, fired two permanent IGs and removed three acting IGs by other means. In their places, he has nominated or installed at least six loyalists.


Trump has also appointed four IGs in dual roles, in some cases creating possible conflicts of interest. In total, we have conservatively identified 25 actions by President Trump to undermine the IG community since he took the oath of office. 

 


EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt: [from CREW website] 

Prior to being appointed as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt had an adversarial relationship with the EPA during his tenure as Oklahoma Attorney General. He had filed numerous lawsuits against the agency, had close ties with the fossil fuel and energy industries, and dedicated himself to combating federal environment regulations.


In eight of Pruitt’s 14 suits against the EPA, industry giant Murray Energy was a co-plaintiff. Less than a month after meeting with the CEO of Dow Chemical, Pruitt announced he would deny a petition to ban Dow’s pesticide from being sprayed on food. He has also had extensive correspondence with Devon Energy when the two worked closely to lobby the Obama administration for looser environmental regulations.


Pruitt also replaced researchers and experts from the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, instead packing the panel with industry representatives. Pruitt’s corruption does not end at industry influence.


He also infamously lobbied Chick-fil-A on behalf of his wife, tried to purchase a mattress from a Trump hotel, and spent millions of taxpayer dollars on security, travel expenses, and a soundproof phone booth.


Pruitt’s successor, Andrew Wheeler, did little better in avoiding conflicts of interest and keeping industry influence out of the EPA. Wheeler, an industry lobbyist before joining the EPA, repeatedly worked on matters involving his former clients, including coal ash, affordable clean energy, and utility emissions regulations. 


Energy Secretary Rick Perry: [from CREW website] 


Prior to being appointed secretary of energy, Rick Perry sat on the boards of major oil and gas companies owned by billionaire Kelcy Warren, who have given millions of dollars to support Perry’s political campaigns. Warren’s Energy Transfer Partners was also behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Perry has also received more than $11 million from the oil and gas industries between 1998 and 2016. Perry rejoined the Energy Transfer board just months after leaving government. His ties with the energy industry are also personal: his son leads an oil and gas company, in which Perry was an investor before being tapped as Energy Secretary. 


NOAA Nominee Barry Myers: [from CREW website] 


President Trump nominated Barry Myers, CEO of AccuWeather, a private weather forecasting company to be the administrator of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”).


In 2016, he reportedly earned more than $900,000as the chief executive officer and held stock in the company worth up to $50 million. Myers stated in his ethics agreement that he would divest all his stock and vested stock options in AccuWeather, and that he would resign from his position with AccuWeather and its affiliates.


However, Myers’ other family members would continue to own and run the company; their ties would not be severed. CREW sounded the alarm regarding the potential conflict of interest arising from his family’s ownership interest in the company and Myers ultimately withdrew his nomination after it stalled in the Senate.


Use of Private Email:  [from CREW website] 


Numerous senior Trump administration officials have used private email accounts and email servers, as well as communication apps that delete messages, to conduct government business.


CREW sued the Trump administration for violating the Presidential Records Act and the Constitution’s requirement that the president “take care” that the laws be faithfully executed through the White House’s use of confidential messaging applications and other problematic practices including its destruction of the president’s tweets.



Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush reached across the aisle in their first year in office, but Barack Obama told Republicans that “elections have consequences” and “I won.” Instead of repeating Obama’s mistake, Trump should have reached out across party lines. Perhaps the “Resistance” would have refused, but Trump would have gotten credit for trying.

Salon Reports in 2017 the Trump Administration:



Staffers at the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, Interior Department, National Institutes of Health, Department of Agriculture, Health and Human Services (which includes the CDC and Food and Drug Administration) and other agencies were reportedly told not to speak to the press or provide information to the public for an indefinite period. New projects were also halted at a number of agencies.


The EPA was instructed by the Trump administration to take down its website page on climate change, according to a Reuters report. There were reports that the Trump team would be reviewing previous EPA studies and numbers, and also embargoing new studies pending review. Those steps follow the Trump transition team’s request that the Energy Department fork over the names of staff who worked on climate change issues. The team also asked the State Department for a list of positions and programs aimed at achieving gender equality.


That effectively muzzles agencies concerned with science, health, the environment, medicine and food. Essentially, everything critical to human survival.


Perhaps bowing to public outcry, USDA officials reportedly rescinded the gag order on Tuesday. There were reports of agencies going rogue, like these supposed unauthorized Twitter accounts of federal science workers, or the now offline but cached at the @WhiteHouseLeaks account. There was also the Badlands National Park Twitter, which for a few hours rebelliously tweeted climate change facts.


In the minutes after Trump's inauguration, pages dedicated to civil rights, climate change, LGBT rights, and health care disappeared from the White House website. Spanish language pages were also removed, while a page titled “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community” was newly added. “The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration,” the page reads. “The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong.”


New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman…Trump Administration Allegedly flushed documents down the toilet


From X /Twitter: New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, several White House staff members found pieces of ripped-up notes in the toilets of the White House while Trump was president



Link to actual X / Twitter Post


Vote4Change.info has tapped into several Trump Lists from Indy100; The News Democracy-Where your votes decide the Top 100 from legitimate news reports; produced by Independent; Ranks News based upon reader input.

 

Just days after he lost the election, news of a successful coronavirus vaccine was announced. The Trump administration was quick to claim a victory over the pandemic and falsely attributed Operation Warp Speed with being instrumental in the vaccination.

In a similar move, on 11th November Trump did a tone-deaf tweet about how well the stock market was doing and that the 'vaccine coming soon.' In comparison to the more reserved statement from the incoming Biden administration, Trump's tweet looked insincere at best



Between December 22 2018 and January 25 2019 almost nothing happened in the US government due to the longest shutdown in United States history. 

The reason for this? Because Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on the federal budget, mostly over disputes about Trump’s immigration policy and his border wall, which still hasn’t been completed. 


To show you how hypocritical this whole situation was here is a Trump tweet from less than 12 months before complaining about how bad a shutdown would be for the military:

 He lost a needless government shutdown fight. [Washington Post 10 Worst things Trump 2019]


In 2018, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $1.6 billion for 65 miles of border fencing by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. Instead of taking the deal, Trump shut down the government and demanded $5.7 billion. He ended up with less — $1.38 billion — than he would have if he had just gone along with the bipartisan deal.


Throughout the shut down Trump tweeted regularly, remarking that the government needed a 'good "shutdown"' in order to fix the mess in Washington.

 


Of the many scandalous things that Trump has done in his presidency, the separation of children from their parents at his controversial detention facilities at the US/Mexico border was probably the worst. 


Evidence had emerged of migrant children literally being placed in cages at the facility, something which Trump tried to blame Barack Obama for. In June 2019, Trump official Marsha Brown even tried to argue that said children didn’t need to be “safe and sanitary.”



Link to this Twitter Post with video X /Twitter Post


Trump tried to buy Greenland  [Indy100 Aug 2023]


Link to actual post On Twitter/X


Trump wanted to trade Greenland for Puerto Rico, which he reportedly called “dirty and poor”.


He asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden. [Washington Post 10 Worst things Trump 2019]


 His phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky was not “perfect” as Trump claimed. After special counsel Robert S. Mueller III found that Trump did not conspire with Russia in 2016, Trump decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by giving Democrats the pretext they had been looking for to impeach him.

 


The terrorist group’s leaders would have sat at the very table where U.S. officials planned the overthrow of their regime, to accept the terms of America’s surrender on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks they facilitated. The disaster was only averted because the Taliban chose to rub defeat in Trump’s face by killing an American soldier. The invitation was possibly the most shameful moment of the Trump presidency.

 

Mounting Hatch Act Violations:  [from CREW website] 


The Office of Special Counsel has found at least 13 senior Trump aides to have violated the Hatch Act by using their official position for partisan politics, including 11 as a result of CREWcomplaints.


In 2019, following multiple complaints by CREW, the Office of Special Counsel took the unprecedented step of recommending that Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway be removed from public service for egregious and repeated violation of the Hatch Act. 


As we get closer and closer to Election Day, the president and his staff have stepped up their mixing of official government functions with campaign-style events including during the Republican National Convention, which resulted in almost 20 Hatch Act violations and a formal complaint to the Office of Special Counsel. Trump has also abused government agencies like the National Park Service for its fireworks display during the RNC and its propaganda videos promoting Trump.



For several years now, President Trump has trafficked in conspiracy theories about voting by mail and expressed fear that it would harm his electoral prospects. In June, Trump mega-donor Louis DeJoy was installed as postmaster general, and he immediately began taking steps to undermine voting by mail.


CREW has been ahead of the curve in pointing out the risks of DeJoy’s political and financial conflicts of interest to the USPS and to voting by mail, including in the national media, congressional hearings, and by filing civil and criminalcomplaints as well as lawsuits to expose and oppose DeJoy’s corruption.


The Trump Cabinet


Jeff Sessions attorney general [Indy100 Aug 2023]

Donald Trump might be slamming Jeff Sessions now but when he appointed him his first official attorney general, he seemed like a big fan.


Which was despite large protests against giving Sessions the role, thanks to his past record, which included opposition to LGBTQ rights and protecting voting rights for marginalised groups. 


While in office, Sessions immediately began undercutting federal rights for LGBTQ people, especially trans individuals

 


One of the highest-profile falls from grace of Trump’s administration was Michael Flynn. Formerly Trump’s national security advisor, Flynn now faces criminal charges for accusations that he lied about contact with Russia before being appointed to the role. 

But Trump was apparently warned about Flynn weeks before the adviser was forced to resign and only told vice president Mike Pence about the allegations facing Flynn when a Washington Post exposé on the matter the next day.



During the 2015 race to become the Republican nominee, Ben Carson stood out. 

Sadly it wasn’t for his incisive political nous but instead because he kept saying really, really strange things.


It got to the point where people were surprised to discover the man had actually qualified and practised as a world-renowned neurosurgeon. 

So when Trump was elected, it came as an unwelcome surprise to discover Carson was being put in charge of a vital department, as secretary of housing development, with absolutely zero experience in the area. 


Since then, Carson’s been accused of trying to ‘destroy’ affordable housingduring his four years in government.



Who is the best person to head up family planning funding allocations for low-income communities, aka ensuring people with wombs have a right to choose whether they give birth or not? 


According to Donald Trump, it’s Teresa Manning, a loud anti-abortion advocate and birth control ‘sceptic’. 


Manning was appointed deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in 2017, where she oversaw Title X funding -- money for contraceptive and sexual health services. 

Her previous experience in the field came from stints at two large anti-abortion groups. 

Eventually, Manning resigned in 2018, with her successor Valerie Huber being a “a staunch advocate of abstinence-only programs”.  Just the person for the job then.



We can’t say that Donald Trump doesn’t take climate change seriously – but we can say that he withdrew from global commitments to tackle the issue, once tweeted about needing “a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming!”, and nominated climate change sceptic Kathleen Hartnett White to be his top environmental advisor.


Trump Administration Turnover

 

 

Turn over on the president’s A team or senior level advisers in the executive office who are NOT part of the cabinet at 92% as of January 2021, compared with 78 percent for Ronald Reagan, 74 percent for Bill Clinton and 71 percent for Barack Obama. 

 

According to Brookings, Trump has had four different chiefs of staff, press secretaries and national security advisors in as many year. Over the same time period, six communication directors resigned, with the current one listed as unknown.




Trump's Cabinet Turnover



For a complete listing of all the departures PRIOR to Jan 6th: who, when, & why check out this BBC piece: The White House revolving Door: who’s gone? Dec 15, 2020

 


So we ask again..... are any of these acts Presidential?


If votes are not casted for President Biden they could become "presidential" again.


This is the second in a series of articles covering topics to help remind Americans why Trump cannot get a second term. 


Future topic’s are:

~ Trump White House / Administration / Cabinet

Criminals

Attacks on the Rule of Law

Tainted Agency Appointments

Other questionable acts

Cabinet

Staff Turnover

~ Election Denial / Voting Regulations

~ Narcissism

~ Racism

~ White Supremist / Nationalists

~ Gun Control

~ View of Veterans

~ Military Use

~ Foreign Affairs /Policies

~ Climate Beliefs/Actions

~ Healthcare

~ COVID

~ Abortion & Reproductive Health

~ Women / Sexism

~ LGBTQ+ Rights position

~ Defamation of Others

~ Trump’s 2025 Campaign Agenda




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