Warren blasts Trump over White House transition team’s ties to special interests
By Evan Lips | November 15, 2016, 16:35 EDT
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday released a copy of an 8-page letter she penned to President-elect Donald Trump, one where she called out the brash real estate mogul for appearing to welsh on a campaign vow to “drain the swamp” by naming a lengthy list of lobbyists and beltway insiders to his White House transition team.
“The American people are watching to see if you were sincere in your campaign promises to look out for the interests of working families, rather than the interests of the rich and powerful,” wrote the Democrat from Cambridge. “Now it is time to live up to those promises. Unfortunately, you already appear to be failing.”
Warren listed the names of more than 20 members of Trump’s team, complete with citations and footnotes listing their various roles.
“Maintaining a transition team of Washington insiders sends a clear signal to all who are watching you – that you are already breaking your campaign promises to ‘drain the swamp’ and that you are selling out the American public,” Warren wrote.
She included names like David Malpass, who Trump tasked with helping to shape his administration’s approach to the Treasury Department. Warren pointed out that Malpass spent eight years working as the chief economist for the now-defunct Bear Stearns global investment bank and referenced a damning quote Malpass made months ahead of the 2008 financial crash in which he claimed that housing and debt markets “are not that big part of the U.S. economy.”
Warren also included several of Trump’s own campaign quotes, such when he pointed out during his nomination acceptance speech that “[w]hen innocent people suffer, because our political system …. has sold out to some corporate lobbyist for cash – I am not able to look the other way.”
She concluded that out of all of Trump’s campaign promises, there was “none bigger” than his “drain the swamp” vow.
Warren also mocked Trump’s answer when confronted on his transition team picks, pointing to his excuse that “everyone’s a lobbyist” in Washington.
“I can assure you that this is not the case,” Warren wrote. “Many Americans – inside and outside Washington D.C. – have the expertise to serve the American public without being bought and paid for by special interests.
“Claiming otherwise does not absolve you of your responsibility to stick to your promise to ‘clean up the system.’”
Warren’s letter came days after she told attendees at an AFL-CIO conference that she promises to work with Trump if he follows through on his vow to help the middle class.
Trump, who is known for exchanging barbs with Warren on social media, has not yet commented on her letter.
Massachusetts Republican State Committee Chairman Kirsten Hughes, however, described Warren’s letter as hypocritical.
“This silly move is not only the height of hypocrisy, given the fact that Senator Warren takes thousands of dollars from Wall Street types, but it is downright reckless,” Hughes said in a prepared statement. “Secretary Clinton and President Obama have joined President-elect Trump in calls for unity but Warren’s laughable letter is a weak attempt to score cheap points for herself while undermining efforts to unify the country.
“The only way for anyone to take this letter seriously would be for Warren to return the thousands she has taken from Wall Street, and disavow her previous hiring of corporate lobbyists. Until that happens it is not worth the paper it was printed on.”
Read Warren’s letter: