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Trump’s First 100 Days: A Wholesale Corporate Takeover of Government

April 24, 2017

Trump’s First 100 Days: A Wholesale Corporate Takeover of Government

Public Citizen Report Chronicles Daily Corporate Dealings, Enrichment of Trump Family Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A day-by-day review of President Donald Trump’s administration so far shows that virtually every day has been marked by a new, extraordinary grant of power to corporate interests and the enrichment of Trump’s private businesses, a Public Citizen report shows.

“We are nearly 100 days into the Trump administration, and it’s clear that there has been a wholesale corporate takeover of the government,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Corporate interests are directly driving policy on everything from pesticides to China, regulation to for-profit college rip-offs. Meanwhile, Trump is degrading the office of the presidency to promote the Trump brand, and the ethical vacuum in the White House is ensuring that megascandals will ensnare this administration. America has never seen anything like this, and we have endured only the first three months.”

The report shows an administration that has granted extraordinary power to corporations and has used the office of the presidency to enrich Trump’s private businesses:

  • Since taking office in January, Trump has met with nearly 200 corporate executives, inviting megacorporations to shape federal policy.
  • Trump has signed 13 Congressional Review Act resolutions passed by a GOP-led Congress that were deemed gifts to big business because they would roll back regulatory protections established by the Obama administration and were opposed by industry. These have eradicated protections for broadband privacy, Alaskan wildlife, worker health and safety, women’s health and streams used to dump coal mining waste.
  • Trump has stacked his Cabinet with corporate executives or people with strong ties to Corporate America or specific industries. Appointees include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn (Goldman Sachs), Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Exxon Mobil), Secretary of Defense James Matthis (General Dynamics) and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (Wells Fargo).
  • With his frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago, Trump has turned himself into a walking advertisement for his global resort properties. The visits allow for more casual interactions between Trump and corporate leaders at Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla., resort, where the membership fee is now $200,000.
  • Although Trump’s sons are running the day-to-day operations of his real estate empire, Trump still owns his family business, creating an extraordinary conflict of interest between Trump’s personal financial interests and the interests of the country.
  • By executive order, Trump overturned President Barack Obama’s measures to block the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
  • Trump started his first full weekday in office with a breakfast meeting with CEOs of a dozen corporations including Arconic, Corning, Dell, Dow Chemical Company, Ford Motor Company, International Paper, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, UnderArmour and U.S. Steel.
  • Trump issued a reckless executive order that directs federal agencies to repeal two federal regulations for every new rule they issue. Public Citizen, along with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Communications Workers of America, has sued Trump and the administration to have this executive order overturned.
  • Trump has signed executive orders aimed at unraveling the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law – thereby destabilizing the financial system and making it more prone to another 2008-style meltdown – and repealing an Obama administration Labor Department rule requiring financial advisers to give advice based on their customers’ best interests.