Conservative Controversies & Scandals

State Republican Scandals & Controversies

  • Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that he never met with any Russian officials during the 2016 Presidential campaign, but he in fact did. Trump met with the Russian Ambassador to the United States minutes before a foreign policy speech on April 27, 2016. The White House released a statement claiming that the meeting was “brief and non-substantive,” but did not address Trump's claims that he never met with any Russian official during the campaign.
  • Donald Trump falsely claimed that 122 former gitmo detainees that President Obama released returned to the battlefield. The President, via Twitter, wrote: “122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!” In reality, the vast majority of the prisoners who were released and then returned to the battlefield - 113 of the 122 - were actually released before President Obama took office in January of 2009.
  • Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump's former campaign adviser, approved campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page's trip to Russia during the campaign on the condition that he wasn't officially going on behalf of the Trump campaign. Page's trip is now the subject of an FBI investigation looking into the Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential campaign.
  • Newly minted Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson seemed to compare immigrants in America to former slaves who were brought here against their will. Carson said "[t]here were other immigrants who came in the bottom of slave ships, who worked even longer, even harder, for less, but they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land."
  • President Trump signed a revised executive order banning people from six predominately Muslim countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days. Anyone who resides in Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Yemen, and Somalia is prevented from entering the United States unless they are a current Visa holder. Other people who meet certain specific requirements are also apparently able to apply for a Visa on a case-by-case basis.
  • Roger Stone, a top Trump campaign adviser during the 2016 campaign, claimed that he had a secret back channel with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange during the presidential campaign. Stone wrote in a now deleted Tweet that he “never denied perfectly legal back channel to Assange who indeed had the goods on #CrookedHillary." He then wrote in another now deleted tweet that he looked forward to people filing libel lawsuits against him by encouraging them to “[b]ring it! Would enjoy crush u in court and forcing you to eat shit – you stupid ignorant ugly bitch!”
  • Two federal campaign finance watchdog groups have accused Donald Trump and his campaign of accepting over $10 million in donations the night after his election and falsely reporting them as paying down the campaigns debt. The groups accused the Trump campaign of illegally taking in funds for his 2020 campaign to pay down his debts from his 2016 campaign.
  • Press Secretary Sean Spicer cancelled a regular scheduled televised press briefing and instead invited a select group of reporters for an off camera discussion while at the same time deliberately excluding major outlets like CNN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Politico from the gathering. The Associated Press walked out in protest, but many other outlets stayed.
  • Attendees at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference were caught waving Russian flags with Donald Trump's name emblazoned on them during his speech to the conference. CPAC staff went around the conference and confiscated as many of them as they could, but not before multiple photographs showing dozens of people waiving the Russian flags were taken.
  • Reince Priebus, Donald Trump's Chief of Staff, had a private conversation with FBI officials where he asked them to publicly refute media reports which accused Donald Trump's campaign of coordinating with the Russian government during the 2016 Presidential campaign. Priebus requesting the assistance of the FBI violated decades old rules that are meant to prevent the White House from having conversations with the FBI about ongoing investigations.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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."