Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has accused President Donald Trump of lying to his supporters, citing the wealthy makeup of his Cabinet and his recent executive order calling for a reevaluation of the Dodd-Frank regulations on Wall Street.
On Feb. 6, Sanders blasted Trump, accusing the president of campaigning against Wall Street and financial elites during the election but catering to their special interests after assuming office.
"This guy is a fraud," Sanders told CNN. "This guy ran for president of the United States saying, 'I, Donald Trump, I'm going to take on Wall Street -- these guys are getting away with murder.' Then suddenly, he appoints all these billionaires."
Trump has appointed several high-profile Wall Street alumni to head crucial economic departments in his Cabinet. His nominee for treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, is a former employee of Goldman Sachs. The president's nominee for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, is a former banker with a net worth of multiple billions. Trump's appointee to head his National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, was an executive at Goldman Sachs.
On the campaign trail, Trump had repeatedly blasted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her ties to the financial industry, pitching himself as the candidate who would crack down on Wall Street.
"Hillary Clinton will never reform Wall Street," Trump tweeted out in July 2016. "She is owned by Wall Street!"
Aside from appointing several Wall Street bankers to his Cabinet, Trump has also taken steps towards dismantling the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulations that were put in place to keep the financial industry from creating the same conditions that led to the 2008 Great Recession.
On Feb. 3, Trump signed an executive order calling for his Treasury Department, which he has appointed Mnuchin to lead, to review the Dodd-Frank regulations and identify any components that would stymie economic growth or prevent U.S. markets from competing globally, according to Forbes.
Trump stated that he expected his administration "to be cutting a lot out of Dodd Frank."
Cohn, who leads the Trump administration's economic strategy team, stated that the executive order "is a table setter for a bunch of stuff that is coming."
Former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who had helped author the Dodd-Frank regulations, blasted the executive order as reckless.
"What I'm afraid of is that we are going to get back to the period when large financial institutions, to make some short-term money, get themselves into situations where they won't be able to pay off their debt and we will get back into a crisis," Frank during a radio interview on on Feb. 5, according to The Independent.
In Sanders' view, Trump has hoodwinked his supporters and will double down on the policies that helped broaden income inequality over the past decade.
"[Trump] is a good showman, I will give you that -- he is a good TV guy," Sanders said. "But I think he is going to sell out the middle class, the working class, of this country. It is hard not to laugh to see President Trump alongside these Wall Street guys."