Conservative Controversies & Scandals

State Republican Scandals & Controversies

  • K.T. McFarland, a senior adviser to Donald Trump, was removed from the National Security Council principals committee after a reorganization gave National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster more authority to shape the council in his image. NSC Adviser H. R. McMaster and McFarland were often at odds and Trump gave him the authority to remove her after McMaster insisted on having more control of the council.
  • The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and Donald Trump confidant secretly worked with two White House officials to release cherry picked information in an attempt to impede the House investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 Presidential election. Nunes secretly went to the White House to get the information, held a press conference about the new "information" without informing the other members of the committee, then went back to the White House to present what he "found" to President Trump. Update: Nunes has recused himself from any House investigation on Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.
  • Presidential Senior Adviser Steve Bannon was removed from his position on the National Security Council principals committee after a reorganization gave National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster more authority to shape the council in his image. Bannon's original seat on the council drew concern from many areas of government due to his lack of expertise in international affairs and political position within Trump's White House.
  • Donald Trump praised Bill O'Reilly and said that he doesn't " think Bill did anything wrong" one day after it was reported that Bill O'Reilly and Fox News reached a $13 million dollar settlement with five women who accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment and intimidation. The lawsuit claimed that O'Reilly “would create a bond with some women by offering advice and promising to help them professionally [and] he then would pursue sexual relationships with them, causing some to fear that if they rebuffed him, their careers would stall.” O'Reilly denied the accusations, but he and Fox News still settled the lawsuit because, in O'Reilly's own words, he is "a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way.
  • Judge Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump's pick for an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, is accused of plagiarizing extended portions of his 2006 book "The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” Gorsuch apparently copied a long passage from an Indiana Law Journal piece with minor edits and without giving attribution. He also had a footnote "that’s replicated verbatim from the article, down to the exact same use of ellipses in citing a pediatrics textbook."
  • Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was photographed carrying plans that propose to track "aliens" from high risk areas and to create "extreme vetting questions for high-risk aliens” while heading into a private meeting with Donald Trump. Kobach is one of the leading contenders for leading the Department of Homeland Security in the Trump Administration and would be the lead person in implementing a plan like that if he were to be confirmed to the position. Update: A federal judge has ordered Kobach to hand over any notes he was photographed with during his meeting with then President-elect Trump.
  • White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer blamed President Obama for a chemical attack Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out on his own citizens. Spicer suggested the attack was a "consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution."
  • Donald Trump's son tweeted his praise for the author of the "PizzaGate" by suggesting that he should receive a Pulitzer Prize. The author, Mike Cernovich, is responsible for a conspiracy article that claimed the Clinton's were running a child sex ring out of a litany of restaurants on the east cost and became the catalyst for a disturbed man to enter a pizza store in Washing, D.C. with his assault rifle in an attempt to save the women.
  • Donald Trump secretly signed an updated version of his supposedly blind trust that allows him to withdraw money "at his request." The updated terms Trump signed by Trump says that the "Trustees shall distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request, as the Trustees deem necessary for his maintenance, support or uninsured medical expenses, or as the Trustees otherwise deem appropriate."
  • Sebastian Gorka, a top national security adviser to Donald Trump, supported a right wing Hungarian militia that was outlawed by the Hungarian government for human rights violations.
  • Erik Prince, Blackwater founder and brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, held secret meetings with a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin just days before Donald Trump took the oath of office on January 20th. Prince had no official role in the Trump transition team, but he did present himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to the high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up the meeting between the two men.
  • Representative Tom Price, Donald Trumps choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, bought stock in a company that manufactures knee and hip implants and then introduced legislation that would have benefited both the company and himself days later. The company, Zimmer Biomet, then donated $1,000 to Representative Price's reelection campaign shortly thereafter. Update: ProPublica reported that "[o]n the same day the stockbroker for then-Georgia Congressman Tom Price bought him up to $90,000 of stock in six pharmaceutical companies last year, Price arranged to call a top U.S. health official, seeking to scuttle a controversial rule that could have hurt the firms’ profits and driven down their share prices, records obtained by ProPublica show."
  • Donald Trump's social media director publicly called for the defeat of Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan in the 2018 primary after Amash refused to vote for the House's Obamacare repeal. This is a violation of the "Hatch Act" which prohibits the use of one's office for political purposes.
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is skipping a major NATO summit in Brussels and meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Washington, D.C. instead. The move has been described as "unprecedented" by a former US ambassador to NATO and "an unmitigated disaster" by another NATO expert. American allies have expressed concern that America is beginning to show they are not as committed to the NATO alliance and Tillerson's skipping of the conference and meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin later in April before he is set to meet with any of the NATO allies again.
  • Donald Trump asked a group of women attending a function for the Women's Empowerment Panel if they had ever heard of Susan B Anthony. During the same speech he also suggested that Harriet Tubman was “very, very courageous, believe me.”
  • Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, apparently purchased homes in New York with cash. The FBI is investigation whether these purchases were legal and how he was able to pay for such extravagant expenses with cash.
  • White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told American Urban Radio Networks journalist April Ryan to "stop shaking [her] head" after Spicer dodged answering a direct question about Trump's connection with Russia.
  • Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, met with the head of Russia's state owned bank under United States sanctions during the transition. The Trump Administration said that Kushner was acting as a campaign surrogate, but did not explain why they asked Kushner to speak with a bank that was under US Sanctions.
  • Former National Security Michael Flynn discussed kidnapping exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen from his home in Pennsylvania and covertly transporting him back to Turkey where he is wanted for allegedly aiding an attempted coup against the Turkish government. Flynn denies partaking in the conversation, but former CIA head James Woolsey insists that the conversation did take place.
  • Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, secretly worked with and received millions of dollars from a Russian oligarch to implement a plan that would "greatly benefit the Putin Government." Manafort was paid to develop and execute a strategy to "influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government."