President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to "drain the swamp," that is, to push corporate lobbyists and Wall Street executives out of Washington, D.C. and install advocates for the working- and middle-classes in their stead.
Yet corporate lobbyists, industry leaders, and Wall Street executives are now leading the Trump transition team, a pivot that prompted fierce condemnation Tuesday from Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
In a statement, Warren excoriated Trump's choices:
Based on public reports, your transition team and your potential cabinet include over twenty Wall Street elites, industry insiders, and lobbyists making decisions that could have huge implications for their clients or employers. They include, among many others, a former Goldman Sachs executive who is rumored to be a Treasury Secretary pick; a paid consultant for Verizon who is making key decisions on your administration's Federal Communication Commission; a 'top lobbyist' whose firm lobbied on behalf of issues related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership who is shaping your Labor Department; and a climate-change-denying, oil industry-paid think tank fellow who is leading your environmental team's transition.
The Massachusetts senator's letter (pdf) to Trump delved into the corporate backgrounds of his transition team, which also includes a lobbyist for the privatization of Social Security leading the Social Security Administration transition, and a climate change denier funded by ExxonMobil in charge of the EPA transition, Warren observed.