Politics

Big Donors Given Big Jobs In Trump Cabinet

| by Ray Brown

President-elect Donald Trump has given top jobs to his top donors.

According to Politico, 73 donors contributed $1.7 million to Trump and pro-Trump super PACs, and $57.3 million to the rest of the party, averaging more than $800,000 per donor.

And 38 percent of his cabinet picks have been donors.

“If the people who are counseling the president-elect are the donor class -- who, as Trump told us, give because they want something in return, those are his words -- you will not get the policies his voters were hoping for,” said Trevor Potter, a co-founder of the Campaign Legal Center.

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“The risk here is disillusionment by the voters who voted for change and are going to end up with a plutocracy,” Potter said.

According to the Washington Post, six of Trump's cabinet appointees gave nearly $12 million in total to Trump's campaign.

Trump's practice of tapping top donors to fill cabinet positions, such as World Wrestling Entertainment co-founder Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration, appears to counter the message he gave voters during his campaign.

“By self-funding my campaign, I am not controlled by my donors, special interests or lobbyists,” Trump wrote in September, 2015. “I am only working for the people of the U.S.!”

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On Dec. 9, after appointing several millionaires to his cabinet, Trump explained his reasoning to supporters in Iowa.

“I want people that made a fortune. Because now they’re negotiating with you, OK?” Trump said, according to Politico.

But critics worry that there will be too many conflicts of interest in Trump's cabinet.

“The way this whole transition is going so far, we have as a general matter an unbelievable and shocking disregard for propriety and conflicts, much less the raging hypocrisy,” said Norm Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank, according to Politico. “The bigger issue is the huge conflicts of interest, and the utterly brazen way Trump and the people around him [are] turning this into pay-to-play in a fashion never seen before.”

Sources: Politico, USA Today/ Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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