The Trump mantra of “drain the swamp” was seen as dubious, at best, from the outset. More and more it’s looking like “corruption” and “outside interests” are relative terms for the Trump administration. The WSJ reports that several of his nominees have donated significantly to the very people who are sitting on the committees conducting their confirmation hearings.
But wait, there’s more! Mr. Trump repeatedly trumpeted that he would not be beholden to wealthy backers, but several of his nominees were also substantial donors to his own campaign. Federal Election Commission data reveals his nominees have collectively donated over $10.5 million to his campaign and associated super PACs during the election cycle.
- Betsy DeVos, nominee for Education Secretary has donated more than $220,000 during the past two election cycles to five of the committee members who will conduct her confirmation hearing.
- Linda McMahon, nominee to head the Small Business Administration has donated more than $126,000 to five members of the committee that will conduct her confirmation hearing.
- Jeff Sessions, nominee for Attorney General has donated $42,500 to seven of the eight Republican Judiciary Committee members who conducted his confirmation hearing.
- Dan Coat, nominee for Director of National Intelligence donated $25,000 through his leadership PAC to five members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which will conduct his confirmation hearing.
- Tom Price, nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services has donated $22,500 to six senators who will take part in his confirmation hearings.
- Mike Pompeo, nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency has donated $14,500 through his leadership PAC to three senators of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
- Mick Mulvaney, nominated as Director of the Office of Management and Budget has donated $1,500 to a senator who serves on two of the committees conducting his hearings.