Conservative Controversies & Scandals

Republican Controversies

  • 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.
  • 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 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 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!”
  • Donald Trump threatened to destroy the career of a Texas state senator who introduced legislation that would roll back the controversial practice known as asset forfeiture and require that an individual be convicted of a crime before their assets could be taken away from them. Trump was holding a round table with sheriff's at the White House when a sheriff from a small county in Texas complained about the state senators proposed legislation, which led Trump to say “[w]ho is the state senator? Do you want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career.”
  • Senior Presidential Adviser Kellyanne Conway cited a non-existent massacre in Bowling Green, Kentucky as a justification for Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban. Conway twice referred to the "massacre" in separate interviews with Cosmo and MSNBC.
  • Donald Trump continues to use his personal unsecured cellphone as President, even though the Secret Service has strongly advised him not to and has even given him a secured phone. The phone President Trump is thought to be using is woefully out of date and has the very real potential to become compromised by hackers. "Based on the available information, the working assumption should be that Trump's phone is compromised by at least one—probably multiple—hostile foreign intelligence services and is actively being exploited. This would be exponentially more dangerous if he were carrying this phone into especially secure places." - Nicholas Weaver
  • The Trump Administration stopped airing all Obamacare open enrollment advertisements one week before the end of the 2017 open enrollment season. Advertisements that had already been paid for have been taken down.
  • President Trump's bravado against Mexico and threats to make them pay for a border wall caused Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to cancel a bilateral meeting with Trump. President Nieto demanded that the Trump Administration respect his country and said that they would never pay for the border wall.
  • Four top diplomats who served at the State Department for years resigned en masse mere days into Donald Trump's Presidency. Undersecretary for management Patrick Kennedy, who has worked for both Republican and Democratic Administrations, went first and was quickly followed by Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions. The mass exodus has left major positions that require Senate approval empty.
  • Governors from states ravaged by tornadoes during Donald Trump's first days in office have gone public in their plead for help from the Federal Government. At least 50 tornadoes were confirmed to touch down in Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida and at least twenty-four people are confirmed to have been killed. The Trump Administration has been slow to send Federal help, which has frustrated the governors from the three states who have requested it.
  • President Trump's senior staff - Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon - all have email accounts hosted on a server at the RNC and not at the White House. It is not yet clear if they are using the accounts, but if they are and don't report their communications then they would be in violation of the Disclosure Requirement For Official Business Conducted Using Electronic Messaging Accounts act.
  • President Donald Trump ordered the employees working at the Agricultural Research Service in the Department of Agriculture to stop all public communications concerning their research. The order read: "Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content.”
  • President Donald Trump's Administration ordered the employees working at the Environmental Protection Agency to have what it calls a "temporary media blackout." The order mandated that employees forward "all inquiries from reporters to the Office of Administration and Resources Management."
  • One of President Trump's first official acts was declaring his inauguration day - January 20, 2017 - as a “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.”
  • Donald Trump Tweeted that he would have won the popular vote if "you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." Trump lost the popular vote by over two million votes, but claimed that mass voter fraud prevented him from winning both the Electoral College and popular vote. Update: President Trump repeated this baseless claim again to a group of House and Senate Leadership members during his first official meeting with them at the White House.
  • Senior Presidential Adviser Kellyanne Conway said that the White House is only offering "alternative facts" when they suggested that the crowd at Donald Trump's inauguration was the biggest in history. After "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd pressed Conway about the discrepancies she responded that "[y]ou're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving -- Sean Spicer, our press secretary -- gave alternative facts." Todd responded: "Alternative facts aren't facts, they are falsehoods."
  • Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Education, sent a Tweet about Donald Trump's inauguration that was riddled with grammatical errors. The tweet read: "Honored to witness the historical Inauguration and swearing-in ceremony for the 45th President of the United States!" The word "historical" should have been "historic" and inauguration should not be capitalized. The inauguration and swearing-in ceremony are also the same thing.
  • White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lied about the number of people who took the DC Metro system for Donald Trump's inauguration during his first press conference with the White House press corps. Spicer claimed that 420,000 riders took the Metro to the inauguration, but the DC Metro reported that only 193,000 riders were reported using the transit system before Trump was sworn in.