Since 2017, Republic Report‘s“Trump Terrible 10” has ranked the week’s 10 most disgraceful figures in Trump world.
Republic Report, which focuses on how money corrupts democracy, has met its abusive dream mate with the kleptocratic administration of President Donald J. Trump. Trump and his lieutenants personify how money and greed, mixed with disrespect for constitutional values, know-nothing ignorance, serious bigotry, and an endless capacity for lying, can really, really corrupt democracy.
Permanent spoiler alert: We can’t imagine anyone other than Donald Trump ever occupying the top spot in the rankings. But we won’t get tired of him winning. Believe me.
10. Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President. Last week’s ranking ―
So Conway violated the Hatch Act by using her White House platform to repeatedly endorse a sexual predator for the U.S. Senate. In the scheme of all the crime and corruption going on with her squad, meh. Plus the person who decides on the punishment is her boss, Donald.
9. Roger Stone, presidential crony. Last week’s ranking: 8
What a fine mentor Stone seems to have been to young Sam Nunberg.
8. Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury. Last week’s ranking: 6
Mnuchin figured that since he lives in LA he might as well speak at UCLA, but that was a dumb idea because his ridiculous message brought ridicule in the form of heckling, hissing, and cursing from the audience, and a pointed question on tax cuts from a sixth grader. Mnuchin did a lousy job of deflecting the criticisms and yelling, so he took the statesmanlike step of revoking his consent to posting the official video. Luckily you can still see the event online, along with videos of protestors dressed as Louis XVI and Louise Antoinette.
7. Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior. Last week’s ranking ―
Newly-released documents show that oil, gas, and coal interests drove Zinke’s Interior Department deliberations prior to the Secretary’s recommendations to Trump to dramatically shrink protected national monument areas. Guess we should have figured.
Also, Zinke aide Christine Bauserman resigned after CNN documented inflammatory social media remarks she made about Muslims, African-Americans, LGBT people, and President Obama.
6. Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State. Last week’s ranking ―
Tillerson’s dreams of an Exxon-Russia empire may have been crushed by congressional sanctions over Putin’s interference in the election, but that hasn’t deterred him from destroying operations and morale at the State Department. There’s still no nominee for U.S. ambassador to South Korea — Victor Cha, a leading expert on North Korea was taken out of the running after privately expressing disagreement with Trump’s policies — but don’t worry, that’s not an important post.
The most recent announced departure is U.S. ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson, who, after 31 years at the Department, was one of its top Latin America experts. Degradation of U.S. diplomatic capabilities is one of the few areas where Tillerson and Trump complement each other, as Tillerson’s incompetence works in tandem with with Trump’s horribleness, which is particularly horrible horribleness on Mexico — the Wall, NAFTA, Judge Curiel, nasty phone calls with President Peña Nieto. But hell, we don’t need those Deep Staters when we have Mexico Expert Jared.
5. Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education. Last week’s ranking: 7
Devos hired another for-profit college lobbyist, Diane Auer Jones, for her team, just in case anyone was worried that her Department wasn’t biased enough in favor of predatory schools that rip off taxpayers and ruin students’ lives. Robert Eitel, another predatory for-profit college executive already working for DeVos, is helping smooth the way for discredited for-profit college accreditor ACICS to get back to approving the flow of federal aid dollars.
4. Scott Pruitt, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency. Last week’s ranking: —
Evolution skeptic, climate denier, and Former Frequent First-Class Flier Pruitt’s latest episodes of apparent corruption: He’s allowing John Konkus, a top EPA appointee/Trump campaign veteran, to have what a Department ethics official called a “financial conflict of interest,” moonlighting for private clients, but not telling us what the work is. Pruitt also is letting the head of his security detail, Pasquale Perrotta, continue serving as a principal of a private security firm, and EPA gave a contract to a manager at Perrotta’s firm to sweep Pruitt’s office for listening devices.
3. Ivanka Trump, Assistant to the President. Last week’s ranking: —
FBI counterintelligence investigators reportedly are probing Ivanka’s deal to license the family brand for the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, which features an Ivanka Trump spa and opened just weeks after My Father’s™ inauguration. It’s one of many sleazy deals in the exciting career of our Princess.
2. Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President. Last week’s ranking: 2
Early last year, a private equity billionaire started paying regular visits to the White House.
Joshua Harris, a founder of Apollo Global Management, was advising Trump administration officials on infrastructure policy. During that period, he met on multiple occasions with Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said three people familiar with the meetings. Among other things, the two men discussed a possible White House job for Mr. Harris.
The job never materialized, but in November, Apollo lent $184 million to Mr. Kushner’s family real estate firm, Kushner Companies. The loan was to refinance the mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper.
Even by the standards of Apollo, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, the previously unreported transaction with the Kushners was a big deal: It was triple the size of the average property loan made by Apollo’s real estate lending arm, securities filings show.
It was one of the largest loans Kushner Companies received last year. An even larger loan came from Citigroup, which lent the firm and one of its partners $325 million to help finance a group of office buildings in Brooklyn.
That loan was made in the spring of 2017, shortly after Mr. Kushner met in the White House with Citigroup’s chief executive, Michael L. Corbat, according to people briefed on the meeting. The two men talked about financial and trade policy and did not discuss Mr. Kushner’s family business, one person said.
Jared’s spokesman denied any connection between the White House meetings and the loans.
The real estate firm tied to the family of presidential son-in-law and top White House adviser Jared Kushner made a direct pitch to Qatar’s minister of finance in April 2017 in an attempt to secure investment in a critically distressed asset in the company’s portfolio, according to two sources. At the previously unreported meeting, Jared Kushner’s father Charles, who runs Kushner Companies, and Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi discussed financing for the Kushners’ signature 666 Fifth Avenue property in New York City. …
The failure to broker the deal would be followed only a month later by a Middle Eastern diplomatic row in which Jared Kushner provided critical support to Qatar’s neighbors. Led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a group of Middle Eastern countries, with Kushner’s backing, led a diplomatic assault that culminated in a blockade of Qatar. Kushner, according to reports at the time, subsequently undermined efforts by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to bring an end to the standoff.
A Kushner companies spokesperson replied, “We don’t comment on who Charlie meets with…. We don’t do business with any sovereign funds.”
Jared is a disgrace and should resign.
1. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States. Last week’s ranking: Are you serious?
Trump told reporters on Tuesday, “Believe me, everybody wants to work in the White House…. I could take any position in the White House, and I’ll have a choice of the 10 top people having to do with that position, everybody wants to be there.”
With fellow suspect Bibi Netanyahu by his side yesterday, Trump said there was “a good chance” of a Middle East peace deal. “The Palestinians, I think, are wanting to come back to the table very badly,” he added. Jared is still working on that peace plan.
Trump told the adoring crowd at a Mar-A-Lago fundraiser that Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who got rid of term limits, is “now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.” We would appreciate knowing what day Trump is planning to give dictatorship a shot, so we can plan a strong response.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America became at least the third fossil fuel group to hold a conference at Trump’s DC hotel, putting more cash in his corrupt pockets.