On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin finally bowed to growing national outrage around the White House’s sketchy accounting for emergency COVID-19 relief funds connected to Donald Trump’s controversial $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program. Trump and company hailed the move as another sign of the administration’s transparency, but close readers are finding more questions than answers.
Why did large hedge funds and private equity firms unaffected by COVID-19 closures receive hundreds of millions of dollars from a relief program designed to help struggling small businesses? How did so many Trump family members and hotel industry friends tap into the PPP while politically unconnected entrepreneurs across America were told funds had run dry? Don’t expect any answers from the White House.
Trump is no stranger to bragging about his record-setting transparency, but the truth rarely lives up to the hype. Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn in May 2019, Trump declared, “There has never been, ever before, an administration that’s been so open and transparent.” A few days later, Trump crowed that he was easily “the most transparent president in history.”