Conservative Controversies & Scandals

Republican Scandals & Controversies

  • Donald Trump lamented "what happened last night in Sweden”during a rally in Florida. The problem is that there was no terrorist attack in Sweden in recent memory, let alone the day before Trump made the claim.
  • A leaked audio tape shows then President-elect Trump encouraging members of his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club to join him in the process of interviewing potential cabinet picks and other White House staff that were vying for a position in his administration. Trump also told his club members that they "are the special people."
  • Vice Admiral Robert Harward, Donald Trump's choice to replace Michael Flynn as his National Security Adviser, said that he will not accept the offer. Multiple sources cited Harward's inability to choose his own staff as the main reason, but he officially stated it was because of family reasons.
  • Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn apparently told the FBI that he did not discuss sanctions with the Russian Ambassador during the Presidential transition, which appears to be a lie since it was later discovered that he actually did discuss the matter with the Ambassador. Lying to the FBI is a felony which can carry a prison sentence if convicted.
  • Six Trump Administrations officials were fired after they failed their FBI background checks. The officials were let go after the FBI determined their answers weren't sufficient to pass the Questionnaire for National Security Positions, also known as the SF86.
  • Donald Trump doesn't want his top secret daily brief to be long and insists that it is as short as possible. He also wants it to be easy to understand, according to a leaked memo outlining how Trump wants to receive his PDB. Trump also doesn't want to hear any dissenting information that may give more than one opinion on the classified topics discussed.
  • Donald Trump broke with decades of American foreign policy by publicly stating that he would be fine with a solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis that only involves one state. It was difficult to parse what Donald Trump meant, but his full quote read: "So I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. [Netanyahu laughs.] I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two, but honestly, if Bibi and the Palestinians — if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I'm happy with the one they like the best."
  • Andrew Puzder, Donald Trump's choice for Labor Secretary, was accused of physically abusing his former wife in 1989. Lisa Henning, Puzder's now ex-wife, accused him of hitting her, throwing her to the floor, and physically preventing her from calling the police against him. Puzder later admitted to "grabb[ing] her by the shoulders and push[ing] her back," but denied he physically abused her and said he did those things to prevent her from hurting herself. Update: Puzder has withdrawn from being considered for Labor Secretary.
  • At least four of Donald Trump's top campaign top aids during the 2016 Presidential campaign had multiple contacts with various intelligence officials in the Russian government during the campaign. The FBI and then the NSA intercepted the communication between the Trump campaign and the Russian intelligence officials they were communicating with.
  • The head of the United States military's Special Operations Command publicly criticized Donald Trump and his Administration over how he is governing the nation. He criticized Trump and his government for being in "unbelievable turmoil" and said he "hope[s] they sort it out soon because we're a nation at war."
  • Kellyanne Conway seemed to violated the law by using her position as senior adviser to the President to publicly encourage Americans to purchase Donald Trump's daughters products. Conway was being interviewed by Fox News when she was in the White House briefing room and said “I own some of it. I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.” Update: The Office of Government Ethics asked the White House on Monday to investigate whether Conway violated longstanding ethics laws and suggested that she be disciplined if she did.
  • National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had a phone call with a high ranking Russian official during the Presidential transition and then lied about the topics that were discussed on the call to then Vice-President elect Mike Pence. Flynn claimed that he didn't discuss easing sanctions against Russia after Trump was sworn into office, but then backtracked and said that he couldn't remember if he did. Officials in the Justice Department warned the incoming Trump administration that Flynn was especially prone to blackmail, but those warnings were ignored. Update: Flynn has resigned from his position as National Security Adviser.
  • The official Donald Trump inaugural print that Americans can buy from the Library of Congress contained an obvious spelling error. The quote read "No dream is too big, no challenge is to [sic] great. Nothing we want for the future is beyond our reach.”
  • Donald Trump's acquaintance at his Mar-a-Lago resort posted a picture of himself and the military aide tasked with carrying the "nuclear football" during a party Trump was hosting at the resort.
  • Donald Trump tweeted a fake Abraham Lincoln quote to honor the late President on his birthday. The quote - “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” was never uttered by Lincoln and was actually part of a 1940's advertisement campaign honoring the late President.
  • Donald Trump's handling of his first international crisis played out in plain view of dozens of dinner guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after North Korea test fired a missile into the Sea of Japan. Trump handled the news of the test launch at his dinner table surrounded by his top aides, but also within ear shot of the guests who were able to hear Trump and his aides discuss their response to the launch.
  • National Security Adviser Mike Flynn's top adviser was denied security clearance from the CIA, effectively making it impossible for him to do his job. There was no public explanation from the agency as to why they decided to deny security clearance to his adviser, Robin Townley, but it was approved by CIA director Mike Pompeo.
  • Donald Trump attacked Senator Elizabeth Warren during a private meeting with ten Senators at the White House, going so far as resurrecting his pejorative nickname 'Pocahontas' when he talked about her to the group of legislators. Trump was upset at Warren's outspoken criticism of Jeff Sessions and her decision to read a letter from Coretta Scott King that criticized Sessions on the Senate floor.
  • Donald Trump continues to bring up his debunked claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 elections; this time during a private meeting with a group of Senators who were there to discuss his Supreme Court pick. Multiple senators and staff in attendance confirmed that Trump brought up the topic seconds after the press pool was ushered out of the meeting.
  • Donald Trump complained that clothing retailer Nordstrom treated his daughter unfairly after they announced they would no longer be selling her products at their stores. Nordstrom claimed that it was due to lack of sales, but Trump used his personal Twitter and that of the White House to complain that his "daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”