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Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson

Then-Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson speaking on Jan. 28, 2015 at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

While Trump Sets World on Fire, Former Obama Officials Blasted for Profiteering From "The Inferno"

New reporting in Huffington Post shows how former Obama officials are taking advantage of the revolving door

Andrea Germanos

New reporting out Wednesday details how some former Obama officials are taking full advantage of the revolving door between big business and government, with critics charging they are exploiting Trump's tenure at the White House by "cashing in" on lucrative opportunities.

In fact, "many are lending the prestige of their White House resumes to scandal-fraught organizations in return for large sums of money. Some are even doing business with the Trump administration," the Huffington Post's Zach Carter and Paul Blumenthal report.

Among the former officials called out in the reporting is Obama's Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, now receiving $290,000 a year to serve on the board of directors at weapons giant and war profiteer Lockheed Martin—a company that appears to be doing quite well under the Trump administration.

"All told, the company does $35 billion a year in business with the federal government, much of it contracted with the very department Johnson recently headed," according to Carter and Blumenthal.

Johnson has recently published op-eds at the Washington Post, they note, in which he capitalized on his status as previous head of DHS while failing to disclose "the fact that he works for a defense contractor that stands to profit from DHS business."

Take also Mary Schapiro, who served as Obama's Securities and Exchange Commission Chair from 2009-2012. She recently joined the board of directors of "Morgan Stanley―an investment banking behemoth that has settled 24 separate allegations of misconduct with the federal government since her departure from the SEC." Her position on the board will likely reward her with over $300,000 a year.

Also making the list is Timothy Geithner, whose case was laid out last week at the Washington Post. "After a lengthy government career defined by his central role in bailing out predatory Wall Street banks as former President Barack Obama's Treasury Secretary," as Common Dreams reported, he "appears to have found his true calling in the private sector, where he now heads a large financial institution that exploits the economic struggles of poor Americans for profit." He's head of private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which owns Mariner Finance, a predatory lending firm that targets poor people with mass-mailed checks, high interest rates, and enforcement of payments through lawsuits.

While the so-called revolving door is considered normal in D.C., Carter and Blumenthal conclude that "much of what passes for normal in Washington is considered grotesque in the rest of the country. If the Trump administration weren't bumbling between different crimes against humanity, it's hard to imagine anyone getting nostalgic for the era when these folks ran the free world."


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