Mick Mulvaney just said the swampiest thing ever

Donald Trump famously pledged to "drain the swamp" of Washington if elected president, getting rid of all the career ...

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 3:08 PM
Updated: Apr 25, 2018 3:08 PM

Donald Trump famously pledged to "drain the swamp" of Washington if elected president, getting rid of all the career politicians and lobbyists who buy and sell access and screw the little guy in the process.

Fifteen-ish months into Trump's presidency, the swamp hasn't been drained just yet. In fact, you could argue it's swampier than ever.

Witness these comments by Mick Mulvaney, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a speech to banking executives on Tuesday (bolding is mine):

"What you do here matters. We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress. If you were a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn't talk to you. If you were a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you. If you came from back home and sat in my lobby, I talked to you without exception regardless of the financial contributions."

Ahem.

In case you missed it, what Mulvaney said was this: A lobbyist who didn't donate to his campaigns had a 0% chance of getting into to see him. One that donated to his campaign had a better chance.

The equation outlined in that quote is a simple one: campaign contributions = access to a member of Congress. And there's nothing swampier than that.

But, but, but -- White House allies argued -- Mulvaney also said that anyone from "back home" was guaranteed to get an audience with him whether or not they donated to his campaigns! How can he be a swamp creature when he's saying that he always met with his constituents independent of whether they gave him money?

The answer is that Mulvaney's comments about his constituents have nothing to do with what he said about lobbyists. Mulvaney was an elected member of Congress. His salary was paid for by taxpayers. He doesn't get an award from not demanding that his constituents give him money in order to meet with him.

And, on the lobbyist comment, what Mulvaney is saying is the literal definition of pay-to-play politics. If you are a lobbyist willing to make a campaign contribution to Mulvaney, you had better chance of getting an audience with him. Full stop.

It doesn't matter what Mulvaney said after that -- unless it was something like "I totally and completely misspoke just then"). In those two sentences, he confirms what a) most people already believe about Washington and b) makes most people hate the nation's capitol.

Campaign contributions and access is always an unsavory axis to talk about publicly. But, even more so given Trump's massive emphasis on getting rid of the permanent political class of lobbyists, politicians (and journalists) that had long dominated Washington politics.

"Our system is also rigged by the donors," Trump said in an October 2016 speech. "Giving hundreds of millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton's campaign...It is time to drain the swamp."

Mulvaney has been one of the faster risers in Trump's administration. He now not only serves as the interim head of the CFPB but is also atop the Office of Management and Budget. He has been widely rumored as a potential presidential chief of staff due to his close relationship with Trump.

The idea Mulvaney voiced on Tuesday, however, runs directly counter to everything Trump ran on and says he stands for. It is the definition of "swampy."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604184

Reported Deaths: 7620
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1248631774
Ramsey52480895
Dakota46804470
Anoka42746458
Washington27416291
Stearns22552224
St. Louis18137312
Scott17548135
Wright16370149
Olmsted13391102
Sherburne1201295
Carver1066448
Clay825892
Rice8196110
Blue Earth762543
Crow Wing681594
Kandiyohi667885
Chisago619752
Otter Tail585884
Benton582998
Goodhue483874
Douglas475381
Mower470733
Winona461251
Itasca459263
Isanti439964
McLeod430361
Morrison424662
Nobles407950
Beltrami407561
Steele397616
Polk389072
Becker386655
Lyon363853
Carlton352756
Freeborn346932
Pine335023
Nicollet331045
Mille Lacs311654
Brown307840
Le Sueur297226
Cass286032
Todd285632
Meeker263142
Waseca238023
Martin235332
Roseau211021
Wabasha20783
Hubbard196441
Dodge18783
Renville182446
Redwood176338
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena162823
Fillmore157410
Faribault154419
Chippewa153938
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138837
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122612
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11296
Murray107010
Swift106918
Koochiching95217
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Wilkin83213
Lake83120
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5938
Lincoln5843
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48293
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 370914

Reported Deaths: 6048
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58232640
Linn21204339
Scott20306247
Black Hawk16119312
Woodbury15238230
Johnson1461585
Dubuque13506211
Dallas1128999
Pottawattamie11223174
Story1071448
Warren583991
Clinton561493
Cerro Gordo553593
Sioux517074
Webster515494
Muscatine4880106
Marshall486676
Des Moines467271
Wapello4337122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth402981
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300957
Henry294637
Bremer288261
Carroll286852
Crawford268540
Boone268434
Benton259655
Washington256751
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232351
Jackson225242
Clay216627
Kossuth216166
Tama211871
Delaware210943
Winneshiek198535
Page194522
Buchanan193733
Cedar192223
Hardin187444
Fayette186543
Wright185940
Hamilton181851
Harrison179973
Clayton171057
Butler166235
Madison164619
Mills163724
Floyd163342
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152652
Hancock150234
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137333
Emmet135841
Jefferson133435
Shelby131537
Sac130920
Union129935
Louisa129749
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124717
Franklin123323
Guthrie123232
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113523
Howard104922
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96532
Monroe96330
Unassigned9560
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7598
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Van Buren56418
Ringgold56324
Wayne54423
Audubon53411
Adams3444
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 80°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Albert Lea
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 73°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Charles City
Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 80°
Father's Day is looking rather stormy
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Aaron's Friday Night Forecast (6/18/21)

Image

Family Service Rochester looking for volunteers

Image

Rochester Preps

Image

Hole In One

Image

Vaccine rate slowing in MN

Image

Minnesota DNR says we can all double-down on water safety this year

Image

There's a nationwide blood shortage

Image

Juneteenth is now a federal holiday

Image

Aaron's Friday Forecast (6/18/21)

Image

Runner attacked by deer on Austin trail

Community Events