A few weeks ago a man walked into a campaign office of the Republican Party in southern Pennsylvania. I wanted a poster of Donald Trump with the slogan “Drains the swamp & rdquor; for your home garden. They were exhausted. The office volunteers offered him various alternatives, but there was no way to convince him. “I’ll be back another day, it was time someone stood up to corruption & rdquor ;, he said as he left. The anecdote illustrates the strength that his followers maintain among the president’s followers. promises to end corruption in Washington, understood as the exchange of favors in exchange for donations, preferential treatment to large companies or the use of public office to profit. What the man did not seem to know is that more than draining the swamp, Trump became his crocodile in chief.
Traditionally, upon reaching the White House, presidents divest themselves of their businesses to avoid conflicts of interest or leave them in the hands of an administrator to manage them without the beneficiary having knowledge of their handling or being able to intervene in them. The call blind trust. But Trump did neither. He simply put his two sons in charge of the Trump organization (a network of 500 companies with a presence in more than twenty countries) and acted so that their public office will benefit their private interests. “If I win, I may never see my properties again because I’m going to work for you,” he said during his campaign four years ago. “I won’t even have time to play golf. Creedme”.
But the opposite happened. The republican has passed almost a third of mandate in its hotels, resorts and golf courses, a sport to which he has devoted long hours during 300 days of his presidency. And every time you land on one of them, your company pass the bill to the government to cover the expenses of the secret service or the advisory groups that accompany him. The thing is not left there because official receptions that were traditionally held in Washington or Camp David, have now moved to Mar-a-Lago, baptized by the president himself as the South White House. In 2018 he received the Japanese Prime Minister there, Shinzo Abe, one of the leaders who has passed through his vacation palace in Palm Beach.
At the end of the two days of meeting, the invoice came to the State: $ 13,700 for the reservation of the rooms, 16,500 in food and wine, Y 6,000 in roses. “Bilateral meeting & rdquor ;, said the receipts, as published by ‘The Washington Post’. The bills included even the water, at three dollars a bottle. In total, in these almost four years, the Trump organization has received 2.5 million in government payments, according to the same newspaper. Which could have been more if the noise from the press hadn’t thwarted their plans to host the G7 Summit at Trump National Doral in Miami.
The business has more derivatives because both the president and his party have held countless cenas and fundraising events in hotels of the magnate, turned into obligatory inn for any foreign lobbyist, businessman or diplomat who wants to get closer to the White House. His campaign events and fundraising committees alone have left a minimum of $ 5.6 million in the pockets of the Trump family, according to the Post.
All those practices border on illegality and they have led to a long list of lawsuits, none of which has been resolved so far against the president. But even public scrutiny hasn’t led Trump, who regularly advertises his hospitality businesses, to change his behavior. Last year, for example, he interfered to stop the relocation of FBI headquarters outside of Washington because he did not want his current headquarters in the center of the capital to be converted into a hotel capable of overshadowing his own. Trump also promised to end the influence of so-called interests, as the big enterprises, unions or insurance companies that hire armies of lobbyists to impose their interests on Congress or the Administration. A promise that all presidents make and no one keeps.
But it was just another magic trick. He put an ancient Pharmaceutical lobbyist at the head of the Department of Health; to a former senior executive of Boeing in front of Defending; to a coal lobbyist to lead the Environmental Agency and one of the oil in charge of Interior, which here manages public prices. Total, 281 lobbyists have held office in his Government, according to ProPublica. With the pandemic It has happened the other way around. Almost fifty former officials, campaign advisers or organizers of its inaugural committee have gone on to lobby for pharmaceutical companies that have bid for multimillion-dollar development grants. vaccinations O PCR against him Covid-19, according to Open Secrets.
And then there is the nepotism. The president has assigned important responsibilities in his administration to his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, without having credentials for the position. While he negotiated the business relationship with China, Ivanka closed several patents for its brands in the Asian country. And Trump also did not express the slightest objection when it became known that his son’s trip Don Jr. to India to sell a promotion of luxury apartments cost the American taxpayer $ 100,000 for the expenses of the secret service that had to accompany him.