Some people attract talent. Donald Trump attracts scumbags. From his early career with his father in Queens, through his ties with the infamous Roy Cohn, and connections to the Genovese Crime family in Queens and the Gambino crime family in Manhattan, to his entanglements with Felix Sater and the Russian mobs in deals around the country, as well as his mob connections in his Atlantic City properties (where he reached a settlement with the federal government on over a hundred money-laundering charges), Trump has been linked to notorious shady characters. His campaign included Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, Cory Lewandowski, and “unofficially,” Roger Stone.
His cabinet was similarly stocked with sleazebags. We’ve all seen the scandals involving Scott Pruitt, Alex Azar, Ryan Zinke, Tom Price, and Elaine Chao. Less publicized, but no less significant, is Wilbur Ross’ involvement with a money-laundering bank in Cyprus, which is probably why Trump picked him to head the Commerce Department.
Trump’s White House staff included such all-around low-lifes as Stephen Miller and his wife, Michael Flynn, Rob Porter, Jason Miller, Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kayleigh McEnany, and Mark Meadows. His lawyers promoting the Big Lie in courts included Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Sydney Powell (briefly), and Lin Wood (unofficially).
And look who were (and many still are) Trump’s biggest supporters in Congress: Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, Tommy Tuberville, Tom Cotton, John Kennedy, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Marsha Blackburn, Gym Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, and Devin Nunes. And before their defeats, Georgia Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
If you were to consciously make a list of the people you would definitely not trust to run our government, it would be difficult to come up with a more compelling list. Yet this is today’s Republican Party. Some predated Trump; after all, the Republican Party was loathsome before Trump came along. But he has certainly hastened their descent into the truly despicable. So when Matt Gaetz or some other Trumpster Republican becomes embroiled in a horrific scandal, our response should not be shock, but rather, “it was only a matter of time before something like this came out.”