Corruption as it applies to Trump and his administration is defined as the misuse of entrusted, public power for private gain. During the 2016 election Trump did not release his tax returns in a move that was unprecedented in modern presidential campaigning and raised questions about possible conflicts of interests that might impede his ability to maintain the interests of the country over those of his business. He repeatedly promised to release his tax returns if he was elected, but promptly broke that promise.
The lack of a record of his financial assets, connections, and liabilities, as well his decision not to cut ties completely with his numerous businesses has raised concerns about the potential for abuse of power and corruption during his administration, whether it be through foreign officials currying favor by staying at his hotels while on official business or visits, or supporting his families many business interests.
This page will track potential corruption by Trump and his administration.
See also Conflicts of Interest.
|2018.03.16||A new U.S. advisory board created to help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African elephants, lions and rhinos is stacked with trophy hunters, including some members with direct ties to Donald Trump and his family. apnews.com (See also Ryan Zinke, Department of the Interior, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2018.03.16||Facebook is suspending the Trump-affiliated data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, after learning that it failed to delete data that it had taken inappropriately from users of the social network. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Election, Steve Bannon)|
The company was funded by Robert Mercer, and Steve Bannon once sat on its board.
|2018.03.18||The White House budget office said on Wednesday it was probing whether a $43,000 soundproof phone booth installed for Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt violated the law, while dozens of Democratic senators called for him to resign over allegations of ethics lapses. reuters.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency, Mick Mulvaney)|
|2018.03.19||Senior executives at Cambridge Analytica – the data company that credits itself with Donald Trump’s presidential victory – have been secretly filmed saying they could entrap politicians in compromising situations with bribes and Ukrainian sex workers. channel4.com (See also 2016 Campaign, 2016 Election)|
|2018.03.20||The Republican National Committee spent roughly $271,000 at Donald Trump’s private businesses in February, according to documents filed Tuesday evening. washingtonpost.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Trump Business)|
|2018.03.21||A cooperating witness in the special counsel investigation worked for more than a year to turn a top Trump fund-raiser into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. nytimes.com (See also Saudi Arabia, Rex Tillerson, Department of State, Iran)|
High on the agenda of the two men — George Nader, a political adviser to the de facto ruler of the U.A.E., and Elliott Broidy, the deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee — was pushing the White House to remove Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, backing confrontational approaches to Iran and Qatar and repeatedly pressing the president to meet privately outside the White House with the leader of the U.A.E.
|2018.03.21||Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spent more than $120,000 in public funds last summer for a trip to Italy that included a meeting of G-7 ministers and a private tour of the Vatican and use of a military jet. apnews.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency)|
Pruitt attended only the first few hours of the summit before flying back to Washington.
|2018.03.29||Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt leased a Washington apartment owned by a lobbyist friend last year under terms that allowed him to pay $50 a night for a single bedroom -- but only on the nights when he actually slept there. bloomberg.com (See also Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, Conflicts of Interest)|
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s lease at a Washington apartment owned by a lobbyist friend allowed him to pay $50 a night for a single bedroom, but only on the nights when he actually slept there.
|2018.03.30||EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's 24-hour security in Washington extends to at least some of his personal trips, including trips home, a trip to the Rose Bowl and a trip to Disneyland. cnn.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency)|
|2018.04.02||Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. chief, was using an apartment partly owned by the wife of the chairman of the lobbying firm while its client sought the agency’s sign off on a pipeline project... which was then approved. nytimes.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2018.04.02||The Trump administration wants to limit a federal consumer regulator’s ability to independently oversee financial firms by placing the agency under congressional and White House oversight, thus further reining in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. wsj.com (See also Reversals, Mick Mulvaney, Domestic Policy)|
|2018.04.03||Scott Pruitt bypassed the White House to give big raises to his favorite aides. theatlantic.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency, Reversals)|
The EPA chief used an obscure provision last month to increase the salaries of a pair of staffers by tens of thousands of dollars, despite the White House declining to approve the raises.
|2018.04.05||At least five officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, four of them high-ranking, were reassigned or demoted, or requested new jobs in the past year after they raised concerns about the spending and management of the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt. nytimes.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency)|
The concerns included unusually large spending on office furniture and first-class travel, as well as certain demands by Mr. Pruitt for security coverage, such as requests for a bulletproof vehicle and an expanded 20-person protective detail, according to people who worked for or with the E.P.A. and have direct knowledge of the situation.
|2018.04.06||Scott Pruitt was only supposed to be living in the Capitol Hill condominium that has become a focal point of his latest ethics controversy for six weeks last year, but the new Environmental Protection Agency administrator didn’t leave when his lease ended, so his landlords had to push him out and change the locks. politico.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency)|
|2018.04.09||Lawyers representing Donald Trump’s company last month wrote directly to the president of Panama, asking him to intervene in a legal fight over the Trump International Hotel in the capital — and warning that the case could have “repercussions” for Panama’s reputation. washingtonpost.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Trump Business, Legal Issues)|
|2018.04.09||Michael Cohen, the longtime attorney of Donald Trump, is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, according to three people with knowledge of the case. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Activity, 2016 Campaign)|
|2018.04.10||The EPA removed a career staffer, Mario Caraballo, who approved an internal report that undermined Administrator Scott Pruitt's claims that he needed around-the-clock bodyguards and other expensive security protection. politico.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency, Resignations and Dismissals)|
|2018.04.12||A former Secret Service agent, with a background investigating the Gambino crime family, Pasquale Perrotta, is serving as the chief of security for Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has clashed — at least once physically — with top E.P.A. officials who challenged Mr. Pruitt’s spending, and has steered at least one E.P.A. security contract to a business associate. nytimes.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2018.04.12||A former top EPA staffer has told Democratic lawmakers that the agency fired him after he refused to retroactively approve the first-class travel of one of Administrator Scott Pruitt's closest aides "because it violated federal travel regulations." politico.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency, Resignations and Dismissals)|
|2018.04.12||Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, insisted on staying in luxury hotels that were costlier than allowed by government standards, while also pushing to fly on an airline not on the government’s approved list so he could accrue more frequent flier miles, one of his top former deputies at agency has told congressional investigators. nytimes.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency)|
|2018.04.15||Donald Trump asked a federal judge Sunday night to allow him to review documents that FBI agents seized from the office of his longtime lawyer before criminal investigators have a chance to see the material. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Activity, Women)|
|2018.04.16||A government watchdog agency concluded that the Environmental Protection Agency violated federal law in spending more than $43,000 to install a private phone booth in EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s office. abcnews.go.com (See also Legal Issues, Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency)|
|2018.04.17||Donald Trump’s trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, is spending nearly $1 million on new furniture — and blaming the Obama administration, despite that it is a significant increase compared to the last two trade representatives. nypost.com (See also Trade)|
|2018.04.17||Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt upgraded his official car last year to a costlier, larger vehicle with bullet-resistant covers over bucket seats, because it was similar to ones in which some other Cabinet officials rode. washingtonpost.com (See also Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt)|
|2018.04.19||U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, under fire from lawmakers for travel and security expenses, spent about $45,000 in government money to fly five people to Australia to prepare for a planned trip that was later canceled. reuters.com (See also Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt)|