Here Are 18 Ways Trump Supported The Swamp During His Presidency
Derrick Broze, The Last American Vagabond
On Tuesday, Donald Trump said farewell to America as he acknowledged “this week, we inaugurate a new administration.” Trump is yet to officially concede – a point which his most hardcore followers still believe indicates he will remain president – however, he finally spoke about handing over the reins of power to the Biden administration. “Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning,” Trump stated during his farewell address.
While he might not have mentioned Biden or Harris by name, it is clear that Joe Biden is going to be sworn in as the next President of the United States. Before America races to forget the Trump years we owe it to ourselves to pause and reflect on the facts of the Trump era. First, Donald Trump did not drain the swamp. As I illustrate below, Trump used his position of power to continue to empower the same industries and figures which have benefitted from every Democratic and Republican president before him. Indeed, I stand by my assessment of Trump made in November 2016: Donald Trump’s role was to be The Great Divider. He used his position to stoke the flames of division and chaos, all the while playing the role of the “anti-establishment” President (an oxymoron if there ever was one).
In 2018 I asked, “When Will Trump Supporters in The Freedom Movement Realize They Were Duped?”. I didn’t have much faith at the time, stating, “Now, of course, there are the diehards who will inevitably stick with Trump through his entire presidential career no matter what policy he takes, even when in contradiction with not only his own words, but with the principles previously espoused by these die hard followers.” Now, as Biden is about to wield the Presidential powers, Trump’s most diehard followers still claim Trump is going to stop Biden from being president.
My concern is that folks who previously supported many of the actions taken by Trump will not recover the principles they once held, and instead, further entrench themselves in the false left/right paradigm, convincing themselves that Trump represented the fight against the “Deep State” and Biden is the Swamp incarnate. The problem with this belief is that it reinforces the idea that one party is actually better than the other, when in reality they both play for the same masters. Most importantly, this belief that Trump was fighting the Deep State is not backed up by the facts. Allow me to present a partial list of the evidence showing Trump’s relationship with the swamp.
1. Nominating Industry Insiders
From the moment he took office it was clear that Donald Trump was going to continue the practice of his predecessors and continue the revolving door relationship between government and corporations. As I wrote in March 2018:
“President Donald Trump nominated Peter C. Wright to be the assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM). The nomination of Wright is another indication that the Trump administration will continue the practice of nominating industry insiders and corporate lawyers to positions of power.
In addition to his work with Dow, Wright’s LinkedIn page lists him as an Environmental Attorney for Monsanto from 1989 to 1996. Wright’s association with The Dow Chemical Company and Monsanto— corporations known for producing hazardous chemicals and pesticides along with genetically engineered seeds— could be an indication that the Trump Administration may have a sympathetic ear for these industries. If so, it would be the continuation of a trend that has extended through the last few American presidencies.”
2. Cozy with Big Oil
One of the most obvious areas where Trump was in bed with the corporations is the oil industry. In his first week in office Trump issued an Executive Order to fast track the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, a project that has a legacy of oil leaks and militarized police. Additionally, Trump passed Executive Orders which said the pipelines, roads, and railways along the border will take no more than 60 days to be approved or denied and that the decision will now come directly from the President himself, effectively giving the president unilateral powers for approving oil projects.
In March 2019 further evidence was revealed after conversations between Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and oil executives were leaked. In a secret recording obtained by Reveal, oil executives can be heard discussing David Bernhardt and celebrating the access they currently have to the Trump Administration. The recording took place during a 2017 Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPPA) meeting in Southern California.
3. Cozy with Big Pharma
Another massive indicator that Trump continued the practice of allowing the corporations to regulate themselves was his appointment of various cronies of Big Pharma. In 2017, Trump chose Alex Azar for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The nominee immediately came under scrutiny for his former connections to the pharmaceutical industry.
Azar formerly served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007. In June 2007, Azar began working as a lobbyist for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company. Azar also served as Eli Lilly’s spokesman as its Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications. Beginning January 1, 2012, Azar was promoted to President of Lilly USA, LLC, the largest division of Eli Lilly and Company – a position which put him in charge of Eli Lilly’s entire U.S. operation.
This trend continued into 2020, when Trump appointed Dr. Moncef Slaoui to the head of his Operation Warp Speed – itself an example of the worst kinds of public private partnerships. Slaoui has extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As I reported in May 2020:
“Following his education, Slaoui joined the pharmaceutical industry, serving on the board of Directors of GlaxoSmithKline between 2006 through 2015. Slaoui served in several senior research & development (R&D) roles with GlaxoSmithKline during his time with the company, including Chairman of Global Vaccines. GSK has a history of working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on projects such as the development of a malaria vaccine and anti-HIV compounds used as microbicides. In fact, Dr. Slaoui worked for 27 years on the malaria vaccine, ultimately partnering with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a $600 million malaria vaccine. When Slaoui took over at GSK, his predecessor, Tachi Yamada, joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
More recently, Slaoui sits on the boards of pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology organizations. He is also partner at MediciX investment firm,chairman of the board at Galvani Bioelectronics, chairman of the board at SutroVax and sits on the boards of Artisan Biosciences, Human Vaccines Project and Moderna Therapeutics. Each of these companies is involved in vaccine development and the emerging field of bioelectronics.”
4. Support for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr. Slaoui was not the only connection to the Gates Foundation we saw from the Trump administration. In October, the NIH signed contracts with companies connected to DARPA, Big Tech, and the Gates Foundation.
Additionally, the Trump administration signed off on giving billions of taxpayer dollars to the Gates founded and funded GAVI, the Global Vaccine Alliance.
5. Ending Investigations Into Pesticide Dangers
The Trump admin faced lawsuits from activist groups for ending ongoing investigations into the dangers of pesticides.
6. Making GMO’s Easier To Enter the Food Supply
On June 11, 2019, Trump quietly issued an executive order to “streamline” GMO regulations in the United States. The order, titled Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products, is the latest move by the Trump administration aimed at promoting the use of genetically engineered or modified crops. In his executive order, Trump called on federal agencies to fix what he called a “regulatory maze” related to the farming and selling of GMO products.
Greg Jaffe, biotechnology director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told the Associated Press that the impact of the order depends on how the federal government responds. “There needs to be an assurance of safety for those products,” Jaffe said.
7. Bad on Gun Rights
Depending on your political view this issue might not matter much, but for Trump’s base, gun rights are an issue close to their hearts. During his administration, Trump supported calls for controversial Red Flag Laws – government approved removal of weapons based on spurious claims – and a bump stock ban on firearms.
8. Support of and Expansion of the 5G Roll Out
Despite opposition by thousands of scientists, doctors, researchers, activists, and health professionals, Donald Trump pushed for the expansion of 5G networks, at one time calling for 6G. In April 2019, Trump issued an executive order stating that local and state bodies must now approve new 5G infrastructure within 90 days. The Trump administration also initiated a cap on the fees local governments can charge telecom companies wanting to install 5G technology.
9. Support of the Syria False Flag Narrative
In April 2018, the United States and some of the international community claimed that Syria President Bashar al Assad had gassed his own people in Douma, Syria. This alleged gas attack was immediately called into question by neutral observers. Even a former investigator with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) testified to the United Nations about attempts to suppress evidence which contradicted the OPCW’s final report. The report claimed Syrian President Bashar al Assad was responsible for an alleged gas attack in April 2018.
Despite the fact that many journalists have pointed out the flaws in the story, Donald Trump bombed Syria based on this false flag attack. The media has continued to prevent the public from finding out the truth, including firing journalists who question the mainstream narrative.
10. The Drone Emperor
While Obama was known as the “Drone King” for his reliance on drone technology for taking out accused terrorists – and killing their innocent family – Trump took it to a new level. First, Trump removed rules which required reporting on drone deaths that were put in place by Obama, once he decided he had his turn with drone murder. In fact, in 2019, air strikes from the US and its allies in Afghanistan killed 700 civilians, more than in any other year since the beginning of the war in 2001 and 2002, according to new research from Brown University’s Cost of War project. The report stated that “the number of civilians killed by international airstrikes increased about 330 percent from 2016, the last full year of the Obama administration, to 2019, the most recent year for which there is complete data from the United Nations”.
11. Fighting to Keep Presidential Kill List Secret
In December 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in an attempt to force the release of newly established rules related to the U.S. military’s secret program of killing. The program was established during the Obama Administration and expanded under Donald Trump.
12. Lying to the 9/11 Victims’ Families
Despite making vague statements about “finding out the truth” about 9/11, Donald Trump never used his position to challenge the official narrative surrounding the 9/11 attacks. Even worse, Trump actually lied to the victims’ family members when he promised he would get to the bottom of the Saudi involvement in 9/11. Despite the families efforts to have Trump investigate Saudi Arabia, he failed to do any meaningful investigation of one of the American government’s favorite partners.
13. Imprisoned an American Citizen Without Trial or Charge
In a story that received way less attention than it deserves, the Trump administration held an American citizen without trial or charge for over a year. An American man had reportedly traveled to research and document the ongoing conflict in Syria when he was seized by Kurdish forces and handed over to the U.S. military. The Trump administration labeled him an “enemy combatant” and held him without charges for more than a year without officially charging him with a crime. After help from the American Civil Liberties Union, that unidentified American was freed. Unfortunately, he was set free and forced to go live in an unidentified country that is not his home.
“My case has shown the worst and the best of my country,” the man said in a statement issued by his lawyers to the Washington Post. “No one, no matter what they are suspected of, should be treated the way my government treated me. Once I got the chance to stand up for my rights, the Constitution and the courts protected me.”
14. Continued Support of the NDAA Indefinite Detention Clause
Speaking of detention, another product of the War on Terror (aka the War on Freedom) is a provision contained in the NDAA which was originally included in the 2011 version of the bill. Some readers may recall that since 2011 the NDAA has included a provision which allows for indefinite detention of American citizens without a right to trial. The bill was signed into law by former President Obama and the indefinite detention provision is still contained in the NDAA, having been approved by Trump every year since it first passed.
15. Attempted to Block Testimony on CIA Torture
The Trump admin invoked states secrets privilege in an effort to prevent the two psychologists who created the CIA’s torture program from testifying in court.
16. Empowering and Expanding the Police State
The expansion of the police and surveillance states has happened under the Trump administration in a variety of forms. Specifically, the Trump admin expanded the militarization of law enforcement and surveillance tools under the guise of fighting illegal immigration. As Trump discussed building a wall along the southern border of the United States – a wall which American taxpayers paid for – he was also working with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to increase surveillance.
During the Trump admin, ICE faced lawsuits for using secret surveillance tools which they refuse to release details about. In January 2020, CBP and ICE released a Privacy Impact Assessment detailing plans to collect DNA from individuals temporarily detained at border crossings. This was the first attempt to collect DNA of individuals who are detained but not charged with a crime.
The Border Patrol also launched a program to scan the face of every person flying out the U.S., and a program to scan the faces of everyone inside vehicles which are driving across international borders.
17. Supporting the Persecution and Prosecution of Julian Assange & Chelsea Manning
During his campaign for President, Donald Trump famously said he loved Wikileaks, but after he was elected he began singing a different tune. Trump eventually called for the prosecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the Trump admin put pressure on the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to turn Assange over to the United States. Now, as Trump’s presidency slips away Assange’s supporters are desperately hoping for a pardon that does not seem to be coming.
The Trump administration has also recently come under fire for the treatment of U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Manning was recently summoned to answer questions as part of a grand jury subpoena. For refusing to participate in the secret grand jury process, she was arrested and has been held in solitary confinement since. It is believed that the questions relate to Manning’s 2010 leaks of U.S. Army documents to Wikileaks.
18. Trump’s Nearly 3 Decade Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein
When serial abuser Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in 2019, Donald Trump did not mention his relationship with Epstein. The well-documented relationship goes back to the 1980’s, and includes extensive ties with Epstein’s partner in crime, Ghislaine Maxwell. Epstein had 14 different numbers from Donald Trump in his little black book and numerous videos and pictures show the men spending time together. Despite the attempt by Trump’s base to place distance between him and Epstein, one of Epstein’s earliest victims says Trump, the Clintons, Alan Dershowitz, and the Rothschilds were all involved in the disturbing sex trafficking schemes.
Due to Epstein’s untimely disappearance we will likely never know the true extent of Trump’s involvement. That is, unless Ghislaine Maxwell decides to save her own skin by exposing everyone involved in the Epstein-Intelligence operation.
About the Author
Derrick Broze, a staff writer for The Last American Vagabond, is a journalist, author, public speaker, and activist. He is the co-host of Free Thinker Radio on 90.1 Houston, as well as the founder of The Conscious Resistance Network & The Houston Free Thinkers.