Conservative Controversies & Scandals

2017 Major Republican Controversies

  • Donald Trump complained that clothing retailer Nordstrom treated his daughter unfairly after they announced they would no longer be selling her products at their stores. Nordstrom claimed that it was due to lack of sales, but Trump used his personal Twitter and that of the White House to complain that his "daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
  • Donald Trump threatened to destroy the career of a Texas state senator who introduced legislation that would roll back the controversial practice known as asset forfeiture and require that an individual be convicted of a crime before their assets could be taken away from them. Trump was holding a round table with sheriff's at the White House when a sheriff from a small county in Texas complained about the state senators proposed legislation, which led Trump to say “[w]ho is the state senator? Do you want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career.”
  • Senior Presidential Adviser Kellyanne Conway cited a non-existent massacre in Bowling Green, Kentucky as a justification for Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban. Conway twice referred to the "massacre" in separate interviews with Cosmo and MSNBC.
  • Donald Trump continues to use his personal unsecured cellphone as President, even though the Secret Service has strongly advised him not to and has even given him a secured phone. The phone President Trump is thought to be using is woefully out of date and has the very real potential to become compromised by hackers. "Based on the available information, the working assumption should be that Trump's phone is compromised by at least one—probably multiple—hostile foreign intelligence services and is actively being exploited. This would be exponentially more dangerous if he were carrying this phone into especially secure places." - Nicholas Weaver
  • Four top diplomats who served at the State Department for years resigned en masse mere days into Donald Trump's Presidency. Undersecretary for management Patrick Kennedy, who has worked for both Republican and Democratic Administrations, went first and was quickly followed by Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions. The mass exodus has left major positions that require Senate approval empty.
  • The Trump Administration stopped airing all Obamacare open enrollment advertisements one week before the end of the 2017 open enrollment season. Advertisements that had already been paid for have been taken down.
  • President Trump's bravado against Mexico and threats to make them pay for a border wall caused Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to cancel a bilateral meeting with Trump. President Nieto demanded that the Trump Administration respect his country and said that they would never pay for the border wall.
  • Governors from states ravaged by tornadoes during Donald Trump's first days in office have gone public in their plead for help from the Federal Government. At least 50 tornadoes were confirmed to touch down in Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida and at least twenty-four people are confirmed to have been killed. The Trump Administration has been slow to send Federal help, which has frustrated the governors from the three states who have requested it.
  • President Trump's senior staff - Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon - all have email accounts hosted on a server at the RNC and not at the White House. It is not yet clear if they are using the accounts, but if they are and don't report their communications then they would be in violation of the Disclosure Requirement For Official Business Conducted Using Electronic Messaging Accounts act.
  • President Donald Trump ordered the employees working at the Agricultural Research Service in the Department of Agriculture to stop all public communications concerning their research. The order read: "Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content.”
  • President Donald Trump's Administration ordered the employees working at the Environmental Protection Agency to have what it calls a "temporary media blackout." The order mandated that employees forward "all inquiries from reporters to the Office of Administration and Resources Management."
  • One of President Trump's first official acts was declaring his inauguration day - January 20, 2017 - as a “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.”
  • Donald Trump Tweeted that he would have won the popular vote if "you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." Trump lost the popular vote by over two million votes, but claimed that mass voter fraud prevented him from winning both the Electoral College and popular vote. Update: President Trump repeated this baseless claim again to a group of House and Senate Leadership members during his first official meeting with them at the White House.
  • Senior Presidential Adviser Kellyanne Conway said that the White House is only offering "alternative facts" when they suggested that the crowd at Donald Trump's inauguration was the biggest in history. After "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd pressed Conway about the discrepancies she responded that "[y]ou're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving -- Sean Spicer, our press secretary -- gave alternative facts." Todd responded: "Alternative facts aren't facts, they are falsehoods."
  • Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Education, sent a Tweet about Donald Trump's inauguration that was riddled with grammatical errors. The tweet read: "Honored to witness the historical Inauguration and swearing-in ceremony for the 45th President of the United States!" The word "historical" should have been "historic" and inauguration should not be capitalized. The inauguration and swearing-in ceremony are also the same thing.
  • White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lied about the number of people who took the DC Metro system for Donald Trump's inauguration during his first press conference with the White House press corps. Spicer claimed that 420,000 riders took the Metro to the inauguration, but the DC Metro reported that only 193,000 riders were reported using the transit system before Trump was sworn in.
  • White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer grossly overestimated the number of people who attended Donald Trump's inauguration and number of people who watched it on television. He even suggested that it was the largest audience ever to witness one. In fact, the actual crowd at the inauguration was far smaller than many previous Presidential inaugurations and Nielsen Ratings reported that Trump drew 30.6 million viewers, which is far fewer than many previous inaugurations.
  • Donald Trump 's Twitter feed posted a photo of President Obama's 2009 inauguration as their first official background. The photograph of President Obama showed a much larger audience than what showed up for Mr. Trump's inauguration.
  • Donald Trump quoted a tweet that was meant for his daughter to another person named Ivanka. The person he accidentally retweeted then used her "15 minutes of fame" to tweet about global climate change and her frustration with Donald and the Republican Party for ignoring it.
  • The former MI6 agent who found potentially explosive information that Russia had compromising information on Donald Trump accused the FBI of "failing to take action on the intelligence" he provided them. Christopher Steele, the former agent, was at first hired to conduct opposition research on Trump, but claimed that he found such explosive evidence of Trump being compromised that he felt it was a matter of national security and informed the FBI and British intelligence agencies. He then accused the FBI of failing to properly investigate the information and even accused elements in the FBI of a cover up in order to help Trump win the election.