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In Assembling ‘Opening Our Country Council,’ Trump Relied on Donors, Cronies

36% of Council Members and Their Employers Gave $103 Million Total; Expect Trump’s Interests to Prevail Over Workers, Public Health

WASHINGTON, D.C. – When assembling a 220-member council to advise him on how to reopen the country’s economy in the wake of the pandemic, President Donald Trump turned to his cronies, a new Public Citizen analysis shows.

The members and employers of 36% of the Opening Our Country Council that Trump announced this week have made contributions to either Trump’s campaign committee, political committees supporting him or his inaugural committee. Combined, they have given $103 million.

Of the 220 members on the council, 79 are associated with contributions to Trump political entities either by giving directly (37) or through contributions only by their company or company political action committee (PAC) (42).

In total, members of the council, their spouses, some immediate family members and the company PACs, contributed more than $103 million to Trump entities. Of this money, 88% came directly from people serving on the council.

“The seriousness of the moment demands people who will look at the economy with a holistic view that includes workers and public health, rather than through the narrow lens of Trump’s own financial and political interests,” said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen.

Added Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, “The council’s near-total reliance on corporate executives to the general exclusion of union leaders, public health professionals and consumer advocates is inexcusable and potentially disastrous. How many of these CEOs – as opposed to line workers, office staff or retail consumers – are likely to contract COVID-19 from close contact with colleagues?

“Even within the universe of the corporate elite, our analysis shows a heavy reliance on Trump cronies and contributors. The Opening Our Country Council is just business-as-usual for the corrupt Trump administration.”