News Release

Trump Cabinet: “Party Time for the Corporate Elite”

ROBERT WEISSMAN, RICK CLAYPOOL, rclaypool [at] citizen.org, @Public_Citizen
BART NAYLOR, via Don Owens, dowens [at] citizen.org
“What’s going on with the Trump administration is beyond fixing with ethics policies,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “We are witnessing the wholesale takeover of government by an extremist faction of the corporate class.” He just wrote the piece “What Populism? Trump’s America Is Party Time for the Corporate Elite.”

Naylor is financial policy advocate with Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division. He was featured on the news release “Was This Election Goldman vs. Sachs?” about Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary. Bloomberg reports: ““Before joining Trump, Mnuchin rose through the kind of elite institutions the president-elect spent his campaign vilifying. Mnuchin was tapped into Yale’s Skull and Bones secret society, became a Goldman Sachs partner like his father before him, ran a hedge fund, worked with George Soros, funded Hollywood blockbusters and bought a failed bank, IndyMac, with billionaires including John Paulson. They renamed it OneWest, drew protests for foreclosing on U.S. borrowers, and ultimately generated considerable profits, selling the business last year to CIT Group Inc. for $3.4 billion.”

Claypool is research director for Public Citizen’s president’s office. He just wrote the report “Corporate Interests Infest Trump Transition at Federal Agencies,” which states: “As a candidate, President-Elect Donald Trump railed against the “rigged political establishment” and promised to “send the special interests packing.” The federal agency landing teams announced by the President-Elect’s Transition Team, however, suggest the entrenched establishment of corporate interests, Republican insiders and former lobbyists will have significant influence over the incoming administration.

“Out of the 75 landing team members announced by the Trump Transition organization, 70 percent (53 members) have some corporate affiliation. Some are CEOs (Paul Atkins, Willie Gaynor, Tom Leppert, Ray Washburne), some served corporations as lobbying or legal clients (Joel Leftwich, Doug Domenech, Robert Mackichan, Ronald Tenpas), some worked at the Heritage Foundation or other corporate-backed think tanks (Justin Johnson, Jim Carafano, Thomas Pyle, Myron Ebell).” Claypool also wrote the report “Donald Trump, Clean Government Reformer?