Conservative Controversies & Scandals

2016 Republican Controversies

  • Donald Trump wrote a bizarre tweet wishing his "many enemies" who voted against him a Happy New Year. The entire tweet read: "Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!"
  • Carl Paladino, Donald Trump's New York campaign chairman, said that his wish for 2017 is seeing First Lady Michelle Obama "to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla." Paladino later claimed his wishes have nothing to do with race and blamed the press for refusing to criticize "2 progressive elitist ingrates who have hated their country so badly and destroyed its fabric in so many respects in 8 years.” Update: Paladino has been removed from the Buffalo Public School Board of Education following his comments.
  • Carl Paladino, Donald Trump's New York campaign chairman, said that his wish for 2017 is seeing President Obama contract mad cow disease and die before his trial for treason. Paladino later claimed his wishes have nothing to do with race and blamed the press for refusing to criticize "2 progressive elitist ingrates who have hated their country so badly and destroyed its fabric in so many respects in 8 years.” Update: Paladino has been removed from the Buffalo Public School Board of Education following his comments.
  • Boris Epshteyn, a senior adviser to Donald Trump, took a veiled swipe at President Obama by claiming that American voters elected "a real man." Epshteyn brushed off an interviewers question about the lack of star power at Trump's inauguration and instead claimed that the American people "elected a real man, a true man, a man who loves this country to the very bottom of his heart.”
  • The official Republican National Committee's Christmas statement appeared to compare the birth of Jesus with the election of Donald Trump. The statement read "Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King." The RNC denied the connection, but it's difficult to read the statement without coming to the conclusion that they were comparing the birth of Jesus to the "good news of a new king."
  • Donald Trump upended years of American foreign policy concerning nuclear weapons development by calling for a new arms race. Trump started the controversy by tweeting that "the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes." When asked to clarify his comments he doubled down and said "[l]et it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all."
  • Donald Trump apparently thought that Senator Bob Corker was too short to be Secretary of State, which is one of the reasons he picked Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for the job. Multiple sources in the administration confirmed that Trump "placed heavy consideration on potential cabinet members' appearances."
  • Donald Trump will use a private security force as well as the Secret Service to protect him while he is President. The private force will be primarily used at Trump rallies, which has sparked alarm from freedom of speech advocates who worry it will be used to stifle protesters. Other security professions are suggesting that Trump is "playing with fire" by using a combination of private security and the Secret Service.
  • Donald Trump tweeted that China should keep an underwater drone they illegally seized in international waters. Trump said "[w]e should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back. — let them keep it!"
  • Donald Trump accused China of committing an unpresidented [sic] act after the Chinese navy seized a United States naval drone in the South China Sea. Unpresidented is not an actual word and Trump did not correct his error for more than an hour before changing it to unprecedented. The original Tweet read "China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act.”
  • Donald Trump told a rally that he was happy many African Americans decided not to vote in the Presidential election because it helped him win. Trump told the crowd that it's "almost as good" that they didn't vote because "a lot of people didn't show up."
  • Donald Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee is having a hard time getting celebrities to perform at his inauguration and has resorted to offering the people who book celebrities extravagant fees and even ambassadorships if they were able to convince a star to participate.
  • Senator Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's pick for Attorney General, didn't truthfully answer a question about "any unsuccessful candidacies you have had for elective office or unsuccessful nominations for appointed offices" on his questionnaire for the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sessions neglected to inform the committee that he was previously denied a Federal judgeship in the 1980's after racist statements he made came to light.
  • Donald Trump is refusing daily top-secret intelligence briefings known as the President's Daily Brief. Donald told Fox News Chris Wallace that "?you know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. Could be eight years?—?but eight years. I don’t need that.”
  • Donald Trump responded to criticism by union workers who had their jobs shipped overseas by telling them they should have "spen[t] more time working-less time talking." The slight was against union members from Carrier, an air conditioning company that threatened to move their headquarters overseas before Trump promised them millions in dollars in tax breaks paid for by the residents of Indiana if they stayed. However, the company still moved hundreds of jobs out of the country, which prompted the criticism from the union.
  • Donald Trump tweeted that the government should cancel Boeing's contract to build a new Air Force One because the cost had skyrocketed to $4 billion. Trump didn't cite any evidence backing this claim up and the company responded that the current contract for the next generation executive plane is actually $170 million, well below the $4 billion Donald Trump claimed.
  • Real estate brokers trying to sell open condominiums in New York's Trump Tower are advertising that new tenants will have "Secret Service Protection" if they purchase one. The advertisements also called the Secret Service a "new amenity" in the tower.
  • Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's pick for National Security Adviser, has retweeted at least sixteen fake news stories since he joined Donald Trump's presidential campaign on August 9, 2016. Flynn forwarded conspiracy theories against President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and many other Democratic Party officials. Some of the most egregious Tweets accuse Secretary Clinton of being involved in a sex trafficking ring and President Obama of being a secret Muslim who has secretly funneled money to terrorists.
  • Donald Trump's son Eric claimed that the Presidential recount in Wisconsin will kill "at least 5,000 children." The baseless claim is taken from a Forbes article that suggested the Green Party should have spent the money they are for the recount on malaria prevention for children instead.
  • Thirty cars participated in a Ku Klux Klan rally in Roxboro, North Carolina to celebrate Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 Presidential election. Men and women participating in the rally were heard yelling "white power" and "hail victory" while driving through the small town.