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"Corruption" Then And Now

Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump sit at the head of the table during their father’s meeting with tech giants. (Photo: via ThinkProgress/screengrab)

Remember how the “news” media was going on and on about the Clinton Foundation — at least when they weren’t going on and on abut Hillary Clinton’s emails, or airing entire Trump rallies for free?

Media “coverage” of the 2016 campaign was almost entirely devoid of discussion of the important issues. Climate change? Housing policy? Instead it consisted of media coverage of anything Donald Trump said — including repeatedly giving free time to air entire Trump rallies — insinuations about the activities of the Clinton Foundation and insinuations that Clinton did something illegal with her emails. (Even FBI Director Comey got in on that game.) What were voters to think?

The “corruption” accusation was that Clinton was “selling access” by having meetings with people who had donated money to the Clinton Foundation charity. That was called a “criminal enterprise.”

Trump: Clinton Foundation ‘a criminal enterprise’ etc. etc. etc. etc.

That Was Then

This is now. Now is different from then.

Ivanka Trump, who sits in on official meeting with foreign leaders, sits at the table while tech CEO oligarchs meet with the president-presumed-elect, etc., sells meetings for tens of thousands of dollars. This is not an insinuation; she actually and openly does this.

NYT: Available to the Highest Bidder: Coffee With Ivanka Trump,


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Ozan M. Ozkural, a London-based investment manager, found a creative way to gain one-on-one access to the new first family: He bid nearly $60,000 to have a cup of coffee with Ivanka Trump for a charity event she was hosting.

This isn’t an insinuation, not an inflated campaign accusation, the guy said he was doing it to buy access and information that others can’t get.

Mr. Ozkural wanted to meet with Ms. Trump — who is considering playing an informal role in her father’s administration — to gain insight into topics like President-elect Donald J. Trump’s possible future dealings with Turkey and other nations where Mr. Ozkural invests, he said.

What Trump called a “criminal enterprise” is now only “problematic”:

The charitable fund-raising by Mr. Trump’s children is problematic, ethics lawyers said, because of the unusual role they are playing in the transition process, with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, attending meetings the president-elect had with executives from major technology companies and with the prime minister of Japan, and Mr. Trump’s oldest son, Donald Jr., helping to select the nominee for interior secretary.

That was then this is now. Things change. The guy who won then with blue-collar votes is now staffing a cabinet of billionaires. Quartz: Trump’s 17 cabinet-level picks have more money than a third of American households combined, “Affluence of this magnitude in a US presidential cabinet is unprecedented.”

And his family is selling actual access and influence. As if any of this crowd needed more money.

This is blatantly selling access. Again, this is not an insinuation, as Trump and the “news” media repeated during the campaign. This is right there in the open. Blatant, open, corrupt, and there is nothing we can do about it.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson is a contributing blogger for the Campaign for America's Future.

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