Bad Company

I got a little thrill today when I heard that Steve Bannon had been arrested. I am not proud of my reaction, but I really hate that guy.

Bannon never should have stepped foot into the White House. He is an alt-right white supremacist who believes he is above the law. It’s easy to see why he thinks so. He was accused of domestic violence by one of his three ex-wives. He admitted to calling a female employee “a bimbo” and threatening to “kick her ass.” When he ran Breitbart News, he proudly championed it as a voice for the alt-right. “Alt-right,” by the way, is just another way of saying “vile racists.” None of this was enough to keep him from running Trump’s campaign or from being appointed as a top adviser in his administration. If a man is known by the company he keeps, then what sort of man would keep company with a lowlife like Bannon? Well, a man like Trump for one.

Trump says he didn’t approve of this venture, but this image is on the organization’s website.

And now we learn that Bannon, along with other men, stole money from donors to a non-profit supposedly established to build a section of Trump’s border wall. All of the donations were supposed to go directly to construction costs. Instead, more than a million dollars went right into Bannon’s pockets. So, not only did Trump lie when he said Mexico would pay for a border wall, he lent credibility to a man who stole money from Americans offering to pay for the wall.

Now Trump is trying to distance himself from Bannon in the same way he’s tried to distance himself from all the other crooks and criminals he pals around with, but Trump is the reason Bannon was able to claim legitimacy in this phony scheme. The border wall has long been Trump’s signature issue. Bannon was an irredeemable jerk before he met Trump, but after he worked in the White House he became an irredeemable jerk with the ear of the president.

And while we’re talking about the people who made this criminal enterprise possible, let’s not forget the nonprofit’s legal adviser Kris Kobach. The former Kansas Secretary of State and failed gubernatorial and senate candidate, is prominently featured in the website videos. He hasn’t been charged, but it’s rich that a man who made his name ranting about voter fraud would be advising a bunch of fraudsters running a shady nonprofit.

Further, if you visit the We Build the Wall fundraising website, you’ll see glowing testimonials from Donald Trump Jr., his girlfriend and Trump fundraiser Kimberly Guilfoyle, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and Rep. Louie Gohmert. These people are so close to Trump they can’t take a breath without choking on his hairspray.

Testimonial from the fraud-plagued nonprofit website “We Build the Wall”

Voters should take note. No one associated with this corrupt enterprise ought to be holding public office. And we ought to be appalled at how many veterans are involved in this scam. These people used their military service to convince people to donate money. It worked.

I’d like to feel sympathy for the donors who were defrauded by this band of thieves, but I cannot imagine how gullible someone has to be to donate money to any organization even tangentially associated with these guys.

photo of three men from We Build the Wall website.
Thick as thieves.

It would be smarter to just throw wads of cash in the air and hope for the best. At least then someone, somewhere might use it to do some good.

Tiffany Quay Tyson
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Tiffany Quay Tyson