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The scandals of the Trump administration in one place



The term "contested" has now been so often thrown across the various weaknesses in the Trump Cabinet Secretaries' coverage, it has virtually merged with the front page of some of their titles. The president himself, perhaps for reasons of diversity, referred to Jeff Sessions in a tweet last year as his "besieged" justice minister.

Some of the alleged (and confirmed) violations were more harmful than others. The White House's handling of the Rob Porter scandal could have been her darkest episode, an ethical failure steeped in bureaucratic incompetence. However, most of the government's scandals and embarrassments are less marked by clandestine maladministration than by open contempt (or ignorance) of basic ethical standards (or lack of care).

Here is a summary, however incomplete it may be, of some of the most glaring collapses

Jackson's Other Résumé

When his nomination was announced, critics commented on what the White House doctor Ronny Jackson missed ̵

1; especially any experience he could speak of leading a huge organization like the Veterans Affairs Department. But when Jackson's public review began, it was supposedly what he had allegedly sunk.

The charges included, but were not limited to: excessive drinking, creating a "toxic" work environment, distributing prescription pain, drugs without adequate documentation, ruining a government vehicle after a farewell party, and drunk knocking on a colleague's door during an overseas trip. Jackson dismissed the allegations, but on early Thursday he would withdraw his name from consideration, apparently free to return to his current work, avoiding a public hearing.

Scott Pruitt's rent is too damned … low?

Of all his colleagues, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt may have the longest list of ethical issues. Here are three (maybe five or six):

1. The Rent: ABC News and Bloomberg revealed in late March that he had spent a lot of time in Washington renting a room from a married couple of lobbyists (and donors) who demanded him about $ 50 a night as his landlord – way below what someone might expect to pay in expensive Washington, DC.
. 2 The booth: Pruit's EPA spent $ 43,000 on a soundproof booth, which he called "secure communication." According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, this is about $ 38,000 more than can be used by law for office improvements, without notifying the Congress. On Thursday, Pruitt also admitted that the stand could not really be classified as a "Sensible Compartmental Information Facility" (SCIF) even though he had previously said to the Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce.
. 3 The Raises: When The Atlantic reported that the EPA had crossed the White House to collect $ 80,000 for two employees, Pruitt denied any knowledge of what had happened or how. Until Thursday, when he admitted under oath on Capitol Hill that he might have known a little bit more than previously announced.

Rob Porter

The former secretary of the White House resigned in early February after allegations of domestic abuse of two ex-wives became public.
  A Timeline of White House Response to the Rob Porter Debacle

But that was just the beginning of it. Porter threw himself as the victim of a "coordinated hate campaign," and John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, issued a now infamous statement in which he described Porter as a "man of true integrity and honor."

It began a protracted quarrel within the White House to answer what he knew about Porter's accusations and, more importantly, when he heard about it. Despite their initial protests that the allegations were new to them, it quickly became clear that some officials, including FBI investigators, had concerns about Porter's past before or after a period of time.

Professor Mulvaney's Lobbying Lesson

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, has two roles as interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB, a regulator, which he tolerates to disarm openly.

In a conversation with bank managers this week, Mulvaney offered the financial lobbyist a breathtakingly cynical advice.

"We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress," he said of his time as a representative from South Carolina. "If you were a lobbyist who never gave us money, I did not talk to you, and if you were a lobbyist who gave us money, I could talk to you."

The good news for the poor was that "When you came home from home and sat in my lobby, I invariably talked to you, regardless of the financial contributions," but for everyone else it was – and probably remains for so many of his former colleagues – paid or lost.

While this barely registered as news for many, Mulvaney's willingness to share it live and say on the record – well, it said that you're more likely to get an audience if you give him money, what's a problem.

Ben Carson's Nightmare

And now the story of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson's Diner, as told in three headlines and two memorable statements, depicts:

    [19659029] 27th February:

    HUD spent $ 31,000 on a new dining room for Carson's office in 2017

  • HUD spokesman Raffi Williams:
  • "Mrs. Carson and the secretary had no idea the table was being bought."

  • 1. March:
  • Ben Carson Says He Wants to Kill $ 31,000 for Dining Room Furniture

  • Carson:
  • "I was just as surprised to find out someone had ordered a $ 31,000 dining set, so I asked We will find another solution for furniture replacement. "

  • 14. March:
  • Emails show Ben, Candy Carson selected $ 31,000

Tom Price's heights

Tom Price left last September by Armagedd for former Health and Human Services Secretary, after reports of his wasteful spending – more than $ 1 million for a few dozen trips, including a flight from Washington to Philadelphia – began to annoy Trump.

"I was disappointed because I did not like it cosmetically or otherwise," said the President. "I was disappointed."

And the rest of the traveling secretaries

Ryan Zinke, the head of the Interior Department, who has never been a geologist before, although he has been repeatedly complained under oath, has a long history of dodgy trips on the taxpayer We could have taboo, including a much-noticed trip from Las Vegas to Montana. The office is struggling with its accounting duties.

"Our investigation was delayed by missing or incomplete documentation for several relevant trips and a review process that did not include proper documentation and accountability," Inspector General Mary Kendall wrote in a 2017 memo.

Then there's Finance Minister Steve Mnuchin. He and his wife, Louise Linton, enjoyed a memorable visit with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky last August, the day of a solar eclipse that ran right across the state – a coincidence, Mnuchin stressed – which ended in commentary with Linton
Mnuchin and Linton also toyed with his other dubious travel expenses in one of the government's best public relations howlers:
Zinke and Mnuchin have so far surpassed their respective expectations of storms. Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, a remnant of the Obama administration, obviously did not. Shulkin's story is a double strike, with allegations that he improperly accepted tickets for Wimbledon during a leg of a questionable trip abroad with his wife. To justify his costs, his former chief of staff e-mailed him before submitting them to ethics officials.

Shulkin accused the White House of using the ethical issues as a pretext for its replacement with a VA chief more amenable to outsourcing veteran care to the private sector

"There are no efforts to privatize VA "The agency shot back," and to say the reverse is completely wrong and a diversionary tactic designed to distract and avoid an honest debate about the real problems related to veterans' health care. "

CDC chief goes in Smoke on

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald resigned as Director of Disease Control and Prevention Centers at the end of January, after Politico discovered she had bought tobacco shortly after the acquisition.
The slogan of the CDC, as CNN's Debra Goldschmidt and Ben Tinker noted at the time, is "24/7: saving lives, protecting people" – or, as it applies in this case, not investing in companies whose interests are directly against the purpose of the agency you operate.

The kicker? Per Politico, Fitzgerald "visited the CDC's Tobacco Laboratory, which investigates how the chemicals in tobacco harm human health," a day after buying shares in the company "Japan Tobacco".


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