Exposed: Donald Trump’s USDA scandal

When Donald Trump isn’t running around hurting people or harming society, chances are he’s doing that other thing he does well: screwing things up. Fortunately, no matter what mischief or mayhem Trump may be up to, positive forces in this country strive for progress, even in the face of Trump’s bumbling and obstruction. Not only does Trump rush to take credit for good developments, but he obnoxiously boasts about his supposed involvement—even when doing so is inappropriate and illegal.

A few months ago, Palmer Report told you about how Trump literally stopped the presses so that his name could be added to the stimulus checks to Americans suffering through the pandemic under the CARES Act. His ego still not satisfied, Trump then wasted taxpayer money and post office resources by sending an unnecessary letter to all recipients to ensure that they associate Trump’s name with their relief money.

Trump is at it again. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is helping Americans get through these challenging times by mailing fresh produce, dairy, and meat through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Trump is turning the needed relief into a free campaign endorsement by including an official letter (in English and Spanish) in the food boxes — 86.8 million of which have been invoiced so far, according to the latest USDA data.

Trump’s letter portrays him as a savior and the driving force behind the program, telling recipients that “safeguarding the health and well-being of our citizens is one of my highest priorities.” The letter goes on to paint the Trump administration as skillfully guiding the nation through the pandemic and even “urge[s] all Americans to continue to… [p]ractice social distancing and consider wearing a face covering when in public,” in stark contradiction to Trump’s other statements and actions.

House Democrats began investigating this stunt on August 14 by sending a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue demanding an explanation and an end to the practice. The 49 lawmakers who signed the letter warned: “Using a federal relief program to distribute a self-promoting letter from the President to American families just 3 months before the presidential election is inappropriate and a violation of federal law.” It is now a month later and, not surprisingly, the Trump administration has failed to respond to the letter and refused to comment.

In an interview last month, President Obama summed up this odious trait perfectly, calling out Trump for being a “president who takes responsibility for nothing but takes credit for everything.” Since Trump took office, he has made a mockery of the presidential oath and has shirked responsibility at every turn. On November 3, we must vote this derelict demagogue out—then share in the credit for all the good that will follow.

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