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With a cabinet filled with Wall Street insiders and establishment favorites, the swamp is hardly drained. (Photo: Heinz-Eberhard Boden/cc/flickr)

Trump Assembling Team of 'Swamp Creatures,' Says Ellison

Progressive lawmaker said it's clear the president-elect is "not doing what he's said he's gonna do for average working Americans."

Lauren McCauley

Forget "draining the swamp," President-elect Donald Trump is building a cabinet full of "more swamp creatures than ever before," Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Appearing on the morning show, the progressive lawmaker, who is running to chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC), said, "Donald Trump has already proven where he's going with this thing," based on the nominees thus far.

"He has lobbyists and big-time investment bankers," Ellison continued, pointing to the recent Politico article, "Why Wall Street is Suddenly in Love with Trump."

"He's not doing what he's said he's gonna do for average working Americans," he added.

Trump has already appointed Republican insiders Rep. Mike Pompeo and party chair Reince Priebus, while he is considering Goldman Sachs alum Steve Mnuchin for the position of Treasury secretary. On Saturday, the president-elect met with former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who is reportedly in the running for Secretary of State.

But even Trump's so-called "outsider" picks—like the alt-right figurehead and newly-appointed chief strategist Steve Bannon and national security advisor Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, a known Islamophobe—are highly controversial and, advocates say, do not represent the interests of American citizens. 

"There's been a lot of discussion of Donald Trump's administration as being potentially fascist. But as we see appointments like these, I'm reminded of a different word—kakistocracy—which means government by the worst people," said Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, in a recent press statement.

"Collectively, Trump's proposed national security and law enforcement appointments include ardent war hawks who have embraced racist, anti-immigrant, and Islamophobic policies, and pushed economic policies that have bankrupted middle-class Americans," Galland continued. "It's hard to imagine a more divisive set of nominees, and these appointments fly in the face of Trump's claim that he wants to unite Americans."

Ellison said that while Trump makes clear what his priorities are, the Democratic Party needs to "make the average American's needs our priority."

"We've gotta strengthen the grassroots," he said, "the power needs to be in their hands."

"We should not make Donald Trump the focal point of all our energy, we need to make the people—the average working American—who we are fighting for, and make that crystal clear every single day," he said. If the Democrats do that, he said, "we will win and Donald Trump will be relegated to be a footnote in the dustbin of history."


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