Democratic Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts held a joint rally on Capitol Hill on March 22 as part of a movement aimed at resisting President Donald Trump's administration.
"[Trump said] we are going to send the special interests packing, and we are going to once again have a government of the people and for the people," Sanders said, according to AlterNet.
The Vermont senator believes the president lied.
"The truth is, [Trump told] very, very cynical lies appealing to working families all over the country: draining the swamp, taking on Wall Street," Sanders said. "But the reality is today that he has more billionaires in his administration than any president in American history."
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Sanders targeted National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, one of several former Goldman Sachs employees in Trump's administration, during his rant. Before Cohn joined the administration, Goldman Sachs reportedly gave him a $285 million severance package.
"Goldman Sachs got a $10 billion bailout," Sanders said. "Virtually every major Wall Street institution ended up paying ... collectively over $200 billion in fines and settlement fees to the federal government for illegal activity since 2009, yet [not one Wall Street executive] was prosecuted and sent to jail."
The senators also attacked Trump's choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, high-powered lawyer Jay Clayton of Sullivan & Cromwell, Politico reports.
/'During the rally, the senators said he was unfit to lead the agency that polices the stock market because he has represented many of the nation's biggest banks, including Goldman Sachs, Barclays, UBS and Deutsche Bank. Clayton's wife works for Goldman Sachs, but she will resign should he be confirmed.
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“How many people seriously believe that someone who has spent 25 years hobnobbing with these giant, Wall Street bankers is suddenly going to get tough on his buddies?” Warren asked the crowd. “We cannot afford to have an SEC chairman who will not stand up to Wall Street.”
Sanders shared a quote of Trump's from a January 2016 campaign rally in Iowa to the crowd: “I'm not going to let Wall Street get away with murder. Wall Street has caused tremendous problems for us.”
“Now, [Trump] wants Goldman Sachs’s go-to lawyer, Jay Clayton, to lead the SEC,” the Vermont senator said. “Clayton is the Wall Street establishment that Donald Trump said he was going to take on.”
During Clayton's March 23 confirmation hearing, he said he would recuse himself from matters involving his or the firm's clients for two years should he become chairman of the SEC, Reuters reports.
"As far as the extent of my practice and whether the recusals that would be required for potential conflicts will impair my ability to act as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, I do not believe they will do so," he said.