Donald Trump convinced his supporters that he was going to drain the swamp in Washington. It was a rallying cry as common as “Build the Wall!” Trump explicitly stated that he would build a cabinet who would put the forgotten American people above their self-interests. Trump’s voters chose him in large part because he made that promise. Even though the majority of Americans knew Trump is a con man and pathological liar, his followers, unable to see through the smoke and mirrors, believed him.
Set aside that Trump is corrupt. He preys on the most vulnerable for profit, squeezes small business owners, and skirts tax laws. It was always clear he was going to fill his cabinet with Washington insiders, political hacks, and corporate lobbyists because that’s the company he keeps. Their values are his values.
What do Trump’s supporters make of the ethics-free, former Goldman Sachs executive and current Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the man now accused of fleecing Americans yet again? Are they outraged that Mnuchin, who has an estimated net worth of $300 million and a $25 million mansion in Bel Air, thought it was a good idea to use their tax dollars to pay for a private government Air Force jet for his honeymoon in Scotland, France, and Italy at a cost of $25,000 per hour? Do they think it was a grotesque abuse of power that should result in his immediate termination? No.
Mnuchin’s decision, which includes evidence of his request for the jet in writing, should come as no surprise. This corporate lackey has been shaking down Americans for years. As the former owner of OneWest Bank, he oversaw high risk mortgages and loans that didn’t require credit checks on the income and credit history of people borrowing money.
It was Mnuchin’s reckless, greedy, and unforgivable behavior that led to the housing crash and Great Recession. Predator Mnuchin mercilessly foreclosed on tens of thousands of homebuyers, specializing in kicking the elderly and minorities out of their homes, and made taxpayers foot the bill.
After the government bailout, Mnuchin and his corporate cronies took bonuses of $1.57 billion in dividends as taxpayers paid for their shameful practices. Trump then selected this swamp hall of famer to join his team, one of many examples that Trump’s “Drain the Swamp” slogan was empty campaign rhetoric.
It wouldn’t have been hard for Trump to pick a cabinet with integrity. Trump lied to his supporters. Now it’s time to hold him accountable. Mnuchin must be fired or resign. He should have never been nominated. It’s time for Trump supporters to put country over party.