TRUMP'S SWAMP.

Author:Lueders, Bill
Position:SMOKING GUN - Donald Trump's officials
 
FREE EXCERPT

Of all of the lies that propelled Donald Trump to the presidency, few are more brazen than his vow to "drain the swamp"--that is, to end the culture of cronyism and corruption that pervades Washington, D.C. Instead, Trump has handed the reins of government over to an array of shameless, self-serving abusers of the public trust. While some remain in positions of power and influence, others have gone too far and been fired or hit with criminal indictments. Here's a taxonomy of the bottom-dwellers.

Still in the Swamp (*)

BEN CARSON: The spectacularly unqualified head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development ordered a $31,000 dining room set for his office while backing deep cuts to his agency's budget. He initially blamed his wife and others for this purchasing decision, which was canceled, but a chain of emails affirmed his involvement. In ultimately accepting responsibility, he claimed to be emulating Jesus Christ.

RYAN ZINKE: This science-denying Secretary of the Interior blew $139,000 on new office doors and hopped on a $12,357 chartered flight to take him home from an entirely non-work-related trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. Interestingly, Zinke was confirmed for the job despite having been dinged in the past for improperly billing the government for his personal travel.

STEVEN MNUCHIN: Trump's Treasury Secretary was confirmed after it came to light that he had somehow failed to disclose $100 million in assets, the kind of thing that can really just slip your mind. He then used his perch to plug a movie he helped produce, after acknowledging that this was not allowed. And he traveled via government plane to Kentucky with his wife to view a solar eclipse, calling the trip "completely justifiable."

MICHAEL COHEN: Trump's and Sean Hannity's personal attorney is under investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance violations. Cohen made a $130,000 payment, just days before the 2016 election, to silence a porn star who plausibly contends that she had sex with Trump. He raked in millions from corporations and $500,000 from a Russian oligarch by selling access and "insights" to Trump. Now there are signs that Trump will turn against him, and that Cohen will "flip" on the President. These two deserve each other.

SCOTT PRUITT: Trump's aggressively anti-environmental head of the Environmental Protection Agency has spent $3 million on personal security, $43,000 on an unauthorized soundproof booth for his office, and...

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