On September 9, 2016, at an LGBT For Hillary Gala, Hillary Clinton made the statement that she puts “half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.” Bedlam ensued as Trump supporters bashed Clinton for insulting millions of Americans.
In order to run a campaign of fear and hatred that appealed to this disgraceful demographic, Trump assembled his own “basket of deplorables”; his campaign team. Clinton could have broadened her statement to include the shady characters the Reality TV star cast in the top posts of his campaign. Let’s take a look at Trump’s very own “basket of deplorables.”
Stephen K. Bannon- Chief Executive Officer
On August 17, 2016, executive Chairman of Breibart News, Stephen K. Bannon announced he would be taking a temporary leave to focus his efforts on acting as the chief executive officer of Trump’s Presidential Campaign. Breibart News, or as it has been anointed by Bannon,”the platform for the alt-right“, is a one-stop shop for all your blame Hillary, keep America white, and deranged conspiracy theory needs. Have no fear, Separatists; he will be back at the helm of Breibart after the election.
Though Breibart News shies away from headlines regarding Bannon, he is quite the news-maker himself. In 1996, Bannon was charged with domestic abuse, battery and dissuading a witness after an incident with his wife. The charges were dropped and they divorced soon after. Custody proceedings, between Bannon and Mary Louise Piccard, revealed Piccard’s concerns about Bannon’s years of “bigoted behavior” and how it would impact their chidren. She wrote about his anti-Semitic views and that “he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”
Bannon has been entangled in other lawsuits including being sued for alleged “indentured servitude” and firing a woman who suffers from MS while she was on her Maternity Leave.
Kellyanne Conway- Campaign Manager
Republican Pollster and CEO of The Polling Company, Kellyanne Conway, was appointed campaign manager, on August 17, 2016 during a major Trump campaign personnel overhaul. She is the third person to hold this position (prior campaign managers for Team Trump were Corey Lewandowski and Paul Manafort both have since been terminated). Conway has spent much of her career coaching the men of the GOP on how to appeal to female voters. In 2012, She was working with Representative Todd Akin when he made his infamous “legitimate rape” comments. Many Republicans called for him to drop out of the race, but Conway continued to work for him. She told Republicans that rape is a “four letter word” and they should not discuss it during their campaigns. Unfortunately, Conway did not take her advice. In 2013, she appeared on PBS’ “To the Contrary” and made the following statement:
“If we were physiologically — not mentally, emotionally, professionally — equal to men, if we were physiologically as strong as men, rape would not exist. You would be able to defend yourself and fight him off.”
We must not allow Conway to avoid speaking about rape during this election cycle. Rape should be an issue at the forefront of our minds. On June 6, 2016 a woman filed a federal lawsuit against Donald Trump claiming he raped her in 1994 when she was 13 years old. You can read more about the case in Lisa Bloom’s Huffington Post Blog.
Aside from her commitment working with GOP misogynists, a great deal of Conway’s career has been devoted to another man. That man is President Bill Clinton. According to the National Review, during President Clinton’s impeachment proceedings Conway appeared on television appeared on television “night after night.” While Conway was going after President Clinton publicly, her husband was working behind the scenes. Read more about lawyer George T Conway III’s efforts against President Clinton in the New York Times “The President’s Trial: The Lawsuit; Quietly a Team of Lawyers Kept Paula Jones’s Case Alive.”
David Bossie- Deputy Campaign Manager
Remember how Trump is really against special interest groups and lobbyists?
Meet David Bossie, president of Citizens United and Trump’s deputy campaign manager. Lest we forget, Citizens United’s lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission led to the Supreme Court Decision that “Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections.”
Aside from being the Poster-boy for special interests, Bossie is also made a career hunting the Clintons. According to Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast, Bossie’s 2004 book titled “Intelligence Failure: How Clinton’s National Security Policy Set the Stage for 9/11″ claimed that “Clinton caused the 9/11 attacks because he secretly loathed the military and made them work with homosexuals.” This is just the tip of the iceberg. Bossie has been on the Clinton’s case for over 20 years. Michelle Cottle at The Atlantic highlights some of Bossie’s Clinton related lowlights in the article “Meet the New Bossie, Same as the Old Bossie.”
Steve Mnuchin-National Finance Chairman
Despite criticizing both Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton for connections to Goldman Sachs, Trump brought former Goldman Sachs legacy and CEO of Dune Capital Management, Steve Mnuchin, on as his national finance chairman. Mnuchin has a history of being crafty with money. According to Erik Larson with Bloomberg Politics, Mnuchin was sued by Irving Picard, a victim of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, after he and his family “pocketed about $3.2 million in fake profit from his mother’s account with convicted con man Bernard Madoff.”
Mnuchin’s shady connections do not end with Bernie Madoff. In 2009, Mnuchin and investors bought IndyMac Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and renamed it OneWest Bank. You may remember IndyMac as the subprime giant that crashed down hard during the mortgage crisis. Russ Choma, Reporter at Mother Jones, explains what happened next in great detail:
OneWest’s owners got a great deal when they bought IndyMac’s failed business from the FDIC (with a hefty dose of risk protection, care of US taxpayers), but the bank has not been lenient with homeowners who have found themselves in financial trouble. In fact, OneWest was targeted by regulators, who found the bank was unrepentant in the face of questioning. In one investigation of predatory loan practices, OneWest was the only bank that refused to settle. The bank also was the target of angry homeowners who filed lawsuits around the country that accused the bank of being overly aggressive in foreclosing
The rest of Choma’s article can be read on Mother Jones’ website: Trump’s New Finance Chair Led a Bank That Made Millions Off of Taxpayer Bailouts
In 2014, Mnuchin went Hollywood for when became co-chairman of the board at Relatively Media. Under a year later, Mnuchin had stepped down and on July 30, 2015, Relatively Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Concerns swirled around Mnuchins timely departure. James Rainey, a Senior Film Reporter at Variety, wrote “disgruntled Relativity investors privately are questioning how a bank Mnuchin once headed –OneWest Bank of Pasadena — was allowed by Relativity to drain $50 million from the studio just weeks prior to the July 30 insolvency filing.”
As you can see, Trump has quite the team. I chose to feature these four “deplorables” though I had many to choose from, as the Trump campaign team is rife with questionable characters. Alas, we have to leave some fun for another day.