He’s the President, yet we’re still trying to answer basic questions about how his business works: What deals are happening, who they’re happening with, and if the President and his family are keeping their promise to separate the Trump Organization from the Trump White House. “Trump, Inc.” is a joint reporting project from WNYC Studios and ProPublica that digs deep into these questions. We’ll be laying out what we know, what we don’t and how you can help us fill in the gaps.
WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts, including On the Media, Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Nancy and many others. ProPublica is a non-profit investigative newsroom.
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And Now, The End Is Near
This story was co-published with ProPublica.
A birth certificate, a bar receipt, a newspaper ad, a board game, a Ziploc bag of shredded paper, a pair of museum tickets, some checks, and a USB drive. The series finale of Trump, Inc.
This episode was reported by Andrea Bernstein, Meg Cramer, Anjali Kamat, Ilya Marritz, Katherine Sullivan, Eric Umansky, and Heather Vogell. We assembled our time capsule at Donald J. Trump State Park; it will be stored until 2031 with WNYC's archives department.
This is the last episode of Trump, Inc. But it's not the end of our reporting: subscribe to our newsletter for updates on what we're doing next. Show your support with a donation to New York Public Radio.
Nobody Wants To Work With The Trumps Anymore
In the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and an unprecedented second impeachment, a growing number of businesses, governments, and financial institutions are severing ties with President Trump.
David Fahrenthold is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covers the Trump family and its business interests for The Washington Post. Zach Everson reports on who patronizes the Trump family businesses for the newsletter 1100 Pennsylvania.
Next week's Trump, Inc. will be the final episode of the series. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on what we're doing next. Show your support with a donation to New York Public Radio.
Donald Trump's Legal Hangover
Donald Trump's presidency is coming to end, but there are ongoing legal investigations that will be following him out of the White House. We examine two of the pending probes into potential wrongdoing by Trump and Trump Organization. One, led by Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine for potential civil violations, the other by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance into possible criminal activity.
We speak with AG Racine about his pending legal action.
This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations.
Six days after President Donald Trump lost his bid for reelection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture notified food safety groups that it was proposing a regulatory change to speed up chicken factory processing lines, a change that would allow companies to sell more birds. An earlier USDA effort had broken down on concerns that it could lead to more worker injuries and make it harder to stop germs like salmonella.
Ordinarily, a change like this would take about two years to go through the cumbersome legal process of making new federal regulations. But the timing has alarmed food and worker safety advocates, who suspect the Trump administration wants to rush through this rule in its waning days.
Even as Trump and his allies officially refuse to concede the Nov. 3 election, the White House and federal agencies are hurrying to finish dozens of regulatory changes before Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20. The rules range from long-simmering administration priorities to last-minute scrambles and affect everything from creature comforts like showerheads and clothes washers to life-or-death issues like federal executions and international refugees. They impact everyone from the most powerful, such as oil drillers, drugmakers and tech startups, to the most vulnerable, such as families on food stamps, transgender people in homeless shelters, migrant workers and endangered species. ProPublica is tracking those regulations as they move through the rule-making process.
Every administration does some version of last-minute rule-making, known as midnight regulations, especially with a change in parties. It’s too soon to say how the Trump administration’s tally will stack up against predecessors. But these final weeks are solidifying conservative policy objectives that will make it harder for the Biden administration to advance its own agenda, according to people who track rules developed by federal agencies.
“The bottom line is the Trump administration is trying to get things published in the Federal Register, leaving the next administration to sort out the mess,” said Matthew Kent, who tracks regulatory policy for left-leaning advocacy group Public Citizen. “There are some real roadblocks to Biden being able to wave a magic wand on these.”
In some instances the Trump administration is using shortcuts to get more rules across the finish line, such as taking less time to accept and review public feedback. It’s a risky move. On the one hand, officials want to finalize rules so that the next administration won’t be able to change them without going through the process all over again. On the other, slapdash rules may contain errors, making them more vulnerable to getting struck down in court.
The Trump administration is on pace to finalize 36 major rules in its final three months, similar to the 35 to 40 notched by the previous four presidents, according to Daniel Perez, a policy analyst at the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center. In 2017, Republican lawmakers struck down more than a dozen Obama-era rules using a fast-track mechanism called the Congressional Review Act. That weapon may be less available for Democrats to overturn Trump’s midnight regulations if Republicans keep control of the Senate, which will be determined by two Georgia runoffs. Still, a few GOP defections could be enough to kill a rule with a simple majority.
“This White House is not likely to be stopping things and saying on principle elections have consequences, let’s respect the voters’ decision and not rush things through to tie the next guys’ hands,” said Susan Dudley, who led the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget at the end of the George W. Bush administration. “One concern is the rules are rushed so they didn’t have adequate
As the Trump campaign wages a haphazard legal campaign against the rightful outcome of the 2020 election, the Trump administration is working to remake the federal bureaucracy.
• Adam Klasfeld is a senior investigative reporter and editor for Law & Crime.• Denise Turner Roth, an Obama appointee, served as administrator of the Government Services Administration from 2015 to 2017.• Robert Shea was associate director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.• Ronald Sanders, who until last month was chairman of the Federal Salary Council, resigned over an executive order he warned would politicize much of the federal workforce. (Read his letter of resignation here.)
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Radiolab: What If?
We're all wondering how the 2020 election will pan out. Our colleagues at Radiolab went looking for answers.
This episode was reported by Bethel Habte (who's now a producer at the Gimlet podcast Resistance), with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music.
You can read The Transition Integrity Project’s report here. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations.