Donald Trump on Government Reform
2016 Republican incumbent President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
Excerpts from The Hill e-zine, March 29, 2018: "Republicans took control of the Senate in 2014 during Obama's last two years in office and did not confirm many of his nominees. The Senate's top Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, teamed up to block Democratic efforts to push forward Obama's nominees, slowing down confirmations by the most in six decades. Most notably, McConnell refused to hold a confirmation hearing on Obama's nominee for Supreme Court justice, Merrick Garland. The vacancies left behind by the Obama administration were not by choice.
Q: In 2018, in the last midterm election, 31 million people voted mail-in voting. That was more than a quarter of all the voters that year, cast their ballots by mail. Now that millions of mail-in ballots have gone out, what are you going to do about it? And are you counting on the Supreme Court, including a Justice Barrett, to settle any dispute?
TRUMP: I think I'm counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely. I hope we don't need them, in terms of the election itself. But for the ballots, I think so, because what's happening is incredible. This is not going to end well.
The theory was initially propagated by The Federalist website on Sep. 27. The article claims that in "Aug. 2019, the intelligence community secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings."
Facts First: This is false. The whistleblower submission form was revised in Aug. 2019, but the revision did not change the rules on who can submit a whistleblower complaint. The inspector general of the intelligence community said that having firsthand knowledge of the event has never been required in order to submit a whistleblower complaint.
"Heading to Helsinki, Finland--looking forward to meeting with President Putin˙ tomorrow," Trump˙tweeted. "Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn't good enough--that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!"
"Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems know how to do is resist and obstruct!" Trump˙added. "This is why there is such hatred and dissension in our country--but at some point, it will heal!"
Is that true? Washington Post Fact-Check: One possible measurement is regulations withdrawn, determined from the OMB database, narrowed just to an administration's first sweep through the regulations:
Q: Like what? And please be specific.
TRUMP: Department of Education. We're getting rid of Common Core. Department of Environmental Protection. We're going take a tremendous amount out. The waste, fraud, and abuse is massive.
Q: But your numbers don't add up. The total budget for the education department is $78 billion. The entire budget for the EPA, $8 billion. The deficit this year is $544 billion. Your numbers don't add up. You say that Medicare could save $300 billion a year negotiating lower drug prices. But Medicare total only spends $78 billion a year on drugs.
Q: But that doesn't really cut the federal deficit.
TRUMP: Of course it is. We are going to buy things for less money.
Q: Have you suggested your sister as a Supreme Court justice?
TRUMP: I have not.
Q: You said she would be great...
TRUMP: She's very smart.
Q: But you'd have to rule that out because she was your sister?
TRUMP: My sister is a brilliant woman. She was appointed by Ronald Reagan. He said appointed by Bill Clinton. She was elevated by Clinton to the Court of Appeals, a very high position, right under the Supreme Court. The reason she was elevated, she was an outstanding intellect and an outstanding judge. I don't even know what her views are on abortion. She is certainly not a radical anything; that's not her thing
TRUMP: If I were President now I would certainly want to try and nominate a justice. Frankly, I'm absolutely sure that President Obama will try and do it. I hope that our Senate is going to be able to do something about it.
Q: So, just to be clear on this, you're OK with the President nominating somebody?
TRUMP: think he's going to do it whether or I'm OK with it or not. I think it's up to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell, and everybody else to stop it. It's called delay, delay, delay.
TRUMP: I would build consensus with Congress. I don't like the idea of using executive orders like our president. I would build consensus, but consensus means hard work. You have to get them into the Oval Office and get them all together, and you have to make deals.
Q: Mr. Trump, you literally wrote the book on making deals. How is a deal maker any different?
TRUMP: A good deal maker will make great deals, but we'll do it the way our founders thought it should be done. People get together, they make deals. Ronald Reagan did it with Tip O'Neill very successfully, you didn't hear so much about executive orders, if you heard about it at all. You have to be able to get a consensus. The deal with Iran, how bad a deal is that? It doesn't get any more amateurish than that. A good deal maker would never make a deal like that. With Congress, you have to get everybody in a room, and you have to get them to agree. But, you have to get them to agree what you want, and that's part of being a deal maker. You have to get people in, grab them, hug them, kiss them, and get the deal done. But, it's got to be the deal that you want.
Many people believe I do well with the press. Maybe I do, sometimes, but anyone who believes I can use the media is absolutely wrong. Nobody can use the press. It's too big, too widespread.
If I do something wrong or make a mistake, they report it accurately. I've got no problem with that. The mistake bothers me, not the reporting.
DJT: Insecure people are often long-winded when they try to convince others that they are important or have special knowledge. I believe in getting to the point in the most direct way possible. It saves everyone's time and teaches you to distill information into sound bites that cannot be misinterpreted. I move quickly in business, so I don't have the time, the desire, or the need to pontificate or sound important. Oftentimes, this backfires. Being concise is more effective, but not necessarily easier. Sometimes I ask people to explain things to me in less than three sentences to make sure they've got it down. Condensing your thoughts is a great technique for both speaking and writing. Busy people work in sound bites; anything more can be a waste of time or cause confusion. I prefer to speak simply and clearly whether I'm addressing my employees or Congress.
In the 1970s in New York City, reckless regulators under Mayor Beame were running the show [resulting in] municipal bonds worth less than Confederate money. I learned from experiences [like that] just how hard it is for normal, sane, earnest Americans to make their dreams come true when they have to confront mule-headed, but powerful burons-a buron being defined as a cross between a bureaucrat and a moron. In my opinion, burons are opportunity destroyers. They’re guilty of what I call Dreamicide.
Second: Get government back in the business of providing for public convenience (transportation, public works) and safety (police and firefighters), and make sure it does so efficiently. Then judge its efforts by visible, definable results and fine-tune as needed.
If this legislation were enacted, it is my opinion that you would see our courthouses become totally efficient again, in that the caseload would drop by perhaps 70 to 80 percent. The judges and their staffs, who now work endlessly to catch up with needless motions made by nonsense lawyers, would be free to concentrate on the real cases, the ones that deserve to go to court. Everyone knows I'm right, but no politician wants to take on the wrath of the lawyers' lobbying groups. Somebody should--because that person could be assured of being in office forever.
I discovered that the city’s incompetence had extended to every imaginable detail, large and small. One week after I’d made my deal to take over rebuilding the rink, a city report was released on mistakes made over the past six years. The report provided an astounding chronology of sloppiness, indecision, incompetence, and stupidity, but it came to absolutely no conclusions about who was responsible for the fiasco and what could be done to avoid such failures in the future. If it weren’t so pathetic, it would have been almost comical.
"They had that long early voting in Florida. It's so long, and so many things can go wrong when you have that long period of time, right?" Trump told the crowd in Baton Rouge. "That long, long, long period. Used to be you'd have a day, you vote. Now you're going forever. Weeks and weeks."
The president-elect, who continually suggested throughout his campaign that the election was rigged against him, added that he's curious about what occurs when early voting precincts are "locked": "I wonder what happens during the evenings when those places are 'locked,' right?" Trump said, using air quotes.
Trump: "You don't have to have voter ID to now go in & vote and it's a little bit scary." Trump says without voter ID, "people are going to walk in, they are going to vote 10 times maybe. Who knows?"
Clinton called for universal and automatic voter registration and a 20-day (or more) period of early voting in every state, before every election. Clinton's speech identified the work of protecting and expanding voting rights as a critical part of her campaign. Clinton talked about the fact that African Americans consistently rank among the most deeply affected by the contours of Voter ID laws, must wait in the longest lines on Election Day and cast ballots at polling sites that very often house fewer machines and poll workers than other sites. That, Clinton told the crowd, "is no accident."
TRUMP: I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now. What I've seen is so bad. First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt, and they've poisoned the mind of the voters. But unfortunately for them, I think the voters are seeing through it. If you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn't be registered to vote.
Q: But one of the prides of this country is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign that the loser concedes to the winner, Are you saying you're not prepared now to commit to that principle?
TRUMP: What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense. OK?
CLINTON: That's horrifying. You know, every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him. This is how Donald thinks.
The amount Trump donated in 1985 was equal to three times the annual limit for individual ($50,000), or thirty times higher than the cap for companies ($5,000), under New York state law. But Trump "circumvented" the law, a state commission found, by spreading the donations among eighteen subsidiary companies. Trump told the commissioners he didn't know "the exact reason" it was done this way; it was how his lawyers had said to do it.
It's unlikely that Trump would be well-served in a general election by "empowering voters" and eliminating the barriers to voting that have been erected by Republican lawmakers. One study found that voter ID laws across 23 states would disenfranchise as many as 10 million eligible Latino voters; Trump is famously unpopular with Hispanic voters.
Let me ask America a question: How has the "system" been working out for you and your family? I, for one, am not interested in defending a system that for decades has served the interest of political parties at the expense of the people.
The only antidote to decades of ruinous rule by a small handful of elites is a bold infusion of popular will. On every major issue affecting this country, the people are right and the governing elite are wrong. The elites are wrong on taxes, on the size of government, on trade, on immigration, on foreign policy.
I will be putting up tremendous amounts of money. SuperPACs are a disaster. They're a scam. They cause dishonesty. And you better get rid of them because they are causing a lot of bad decisions to be made by some very good people. And I'm not blaming these folks--well, I guess I could.
BUSH: No. Absolutely not. The one guy that tried to get me to change my views on something--that was generous and gave me money--was Donald Trump. He wanted casino gambling in Florida.
TRUMP: I promise if I wanted it, I would have gotten it.
BUSH: No way. Believe me.
Q: What about politicians being controlled by donors?
TRUMP: Jeb made the statement, but I'm not only referring to him. A lot of money was raised by a lot of different people that are standing up here. And the donors, the special interests, the lobbyists have very strong power over these people. I am not accepting any money from anybody. Nobody has control of me other than the people of this country. I'm going to do the right thing.
TRUMP: You'd better believe it.
Q: So what specifically did they do?
TRUMP: If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I've given to, just so you understand, a lot of money. I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that's a broken system.
Q: What did you get from Hillary Clinton?
TRUMP: Well, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. You know why? She didn't have a choice because I gave to her foundation.
The third leg to the Trump political reforms is also simple and vital. I believe that Americans should know immediately who is giving what to whom. If we have full participation, we should also have full and fast disclosure.
The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Removing campaign free speech restrictions that are placed on some organizations but not others' The Christian Coalition notes, "You can help make sure that voters have the facts BEFORE they cast their votes. We have surveyed candidates in the most competitive congressional races on the issues that are important to conservatives."
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