Conservative Controversies & Scandals

2016 State Republican Scandals & Controversies

  • Donald Trump encouraged Nigel Farage, a leading politician in Great Britain, to use his position of authority to pressure the British government to cancel planned wind farm projects that would be built near his golf course in Scotland. Trump reportedly told Nigel that Britain has " got to do something about these windmills. Let’s put them offshore, why spoil the beautiful countryside?”
  • Donald Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn gave classified information to NATO allies without approval from his superiors during his tenure at the Defense Intelligence Agency. His actions prompted his superiors to formally reprimand him.
  • Donald Trump praised one of his business partners in Turkey during a call with the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Trump used the talk with Erdogan to talk about his luxury hotel in Turkey and to pass along praise from the hotels majority owners.
  • Donald Trump's son, Donald Jr., met with Russian and other international officials in Paris to discuss the Syrian War during the final months of the Presidential campaign. The event was hosted by the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, a think tank that has "worked closely with Russia to try to end the conflict," according to a statement by the group.
  • Donald Trump's incoming chief political adviser earned a salary from nonprofit charity he ran while also running Breitbart.com. Government Accountability Institute, the nonprofit in question, claimed to be an independent, nonpartisan institute in their tax filing with the IRS, but the organization has been closely linked with right wing organizations that have been highly critical of the Obama Administration and then Secretary Clinton's campaign.
  • A long stalled Trump Tower project in Buenos Aires was given new life three days after Donald Trump's first phone call with Argentinean President Mauricio Macri following his election. Trump has been accused of bringing up the project in his call with President Macri, which both parties denied, but the timing of the announcement that the project is back on raises questions as to whether the two leaders did discuss restarting the project.
  • The Donald J. Trump Foundation admitted to "self dealing," which is illegal under Federal law. The foundation informed the IRS that they had transferred "income or assets to a disqualified person.” A disqualified person could be Donald Trump himself, any member of his family, or a business that he owns.
  • Donald Trump said that he doesn't have to cut any ties with his business empire because he claims the President "can't have a conflict of interest." His stance is reminiscent of former President Nixon's claim that "when the president does it, that means it is not illegal." The Constitutions Emoluments Clause prohibits any Federal official from accepting any payments from foreign governments, but only Congress can investigate and force the President to abide by it.
  • The Federal Election Commission notified the Trump campaign that his campaign violated campaign finance rules by accepting donations that exceeded the legal limit and demanded the campaign refund any donations that came from unregistered organizations or surpassed legal donating limits.
  • Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's daughter, participated in a phone call between Donald Trump and Argentine President Mauricio Macri shortly after his electoral victory. Her participation in the conversation raise conflict of interest questions considering Trump has multiple business ventures in Argentina and she will be running her fathers business empire while he is President.
  • Business developers representing Trump Towers Pune, a luxury apartment complex that is currently being constructed in western India, met privately with Donald Trump just days after he was elected to be the 45th President. They met with Trump and other future administration officials at Trump Tower in New York City and raises a multitude of legal and ethical questions about how the future President will be able to separate the duties of the Presidency with his personal business dealings.
  • Incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn received classified briefings on both domestic and international affairs while at the same time being the CEO of a lobbying firm that represented foreign clients.
  • A source told CBS News that Donald Trump asked the White House to explore the possibility of giving his three children top national security clearances, giving them the ability to work with his administration as 'national security advisers'. As President, Donald Trump is not allowed to hire his children directly, as nepotism is not allowed. This request raised several red flags due to Trump's former promise to form a 'blind trust' for his business dealings, to be handled by his children alone, and for there to be no intermingling while Trump was in office.
  • Donald Trump named former Brietbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon to be his chief strategist and senior counselor when becomes President. Brannon is an outspoken white nationalist who has used his position at Brietbart to publish overtly white supremacist and "white ethno-nationalistic" propaganda that has become the go-to website for alt-right and white supremacists throughout the country.
  • Donald Trump offered gifts to Megyn Kelly during the Presidential primary season in an attempt to get positive coverage from her on Fox News. Kelly accused Trump of offering her free nights at his hotels and other unspecified gifts and also accused Trump of doing the same to many other unnamed journalists. She said that "Trump tried to work the refs and some of the refs responded.”
  • Donald Trump was told about the nature of one of the debate questions in advance of a primary Republican debate, hosted by Fox News, that Donald Trump decided to not show up for. Trump was informed that Megyn Kelly intended on asking him "a very pointed question directed at him" about his temperament and the many nasty things he has said about women, though he didn't know the exact wording. Megyn Kelly revealed this in her book, "Settle for More", which was released on election day.
  • Donald Trump called conservative radio host Alex Jones after the election to thank Jones and his audience of followers for helping him win the presidential election. Per a YouTube video Alex Jones posted on his channel, Jones recalled Trump saying to him, "Listen, Alex, I just talked to the kings and queens of the world, world leaders, you name it. But it doesn’t matter, I wanted to talk to you, to thank your audience, and I’ll be on the next few weeks to thank them.”
  • Despite Donald Trump and his spokespeople repeatedly claiming they had no contact with Russian officials or diplomats during the U.S. election campaign, Russian diplomats confirmed they in fact were. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, "There were contacts." He also went on the record to say, "Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage... I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives. We continue this work, of course."
  • A Donald Trump supporter in Minnesota was photographed at a Trump rally wearing a t-shirt which read "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required."
  • Donald Trump kicked out a twelve year old child with cerebral palsy from a Florida rally after it became clear that he was there to protest the Republican nominees stances towards disabled people. The child's family was verbally and physically assaulted by Trump supporters before the nominee ordered them to be removed from the audience.