Conservative Controversies & Scandals

2016 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Donald Trump has been sued by students of his now defunct "University" who accuse him of running a fraudulent scheme to get as much money from them as possible. Trump University is accused of using strong arm tactics that encourage the elderly and uneducated to take out massive amounts of debt with the promise of future financial gains. Trump University was in fact never a accredited university at all, but in fact it was a company that purported to be selling Trump’s secret insights into how to make money in real estate. **Update** Donald Trump settled the case out of court and has agreed to pay $25 million to the plaintiffs.
  • Donald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway mocked and criticized 'millennial' anti-Trump protesters on Sean Hannity's Fox News program. Conway told Hannity, "We are treating these adolescents and millennials like precious snowflakes." Hannity then said that these protesters are 'little pampered spoiled brats' and they need to 'get over themselves'. Conway agreed, and they continued with Conway talking about how in their youth of 'humble beginnings' they would never 'degrade the office of the president or cry crocodile tears' over 'who had won the election'.
  • 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.”
  • HBO's Silicon Valley actors Kumail Nanjiani and Thomas MIddleditch were allegedly harassed by 2 Trump supporters at a bar in Los Angeles, per Nanjiani's tweeter feed. Kumail tweeted: Was at a bar last night with @Middleditch. At the end of the night, 2 white dudes, 20's, who'd been there for hours came up to us. "We're big fans of you guys. (To Thomas) I trolled you on twitter yesterday." He goes on to say how we're wrong about Trump. I go "Hey we don't wanna discuss politics right now." His friends goes "oh they're cucks." Then starts yelling at us. "CUCKS CUCKS CUCKS!" He starts getting in my face. Thomas puts his hand on the dude's chest to stop him. "Don't touch me you cuck. Wanna go outside?" At this point, the bouncer runs over, grabs them, kicks them out.
  • Donald Trump replaced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with Vice President elect Mike Pence, to head his transition team efforts, just days after the election. Chris Christie was demoted to vice chair of the transition efforts.
  • 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.”