Over the past 24 hours, we have learned a lot about the wasteful spending and corruption inside Donald Trump and Ben Carson’s Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The White House directed HUD to circumvent the public records process for political reasons.
Washington Post: “Foster said she had been excluded from handling Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Democratic National Committee — even though she oversaw department FOIA responses — because one of President Trump’s appointees believed she was a Democrat. […] Foster wrote that in mid-February, a HUD lawyer informed her that the Office of General Counsel had been asked to ‘discretely handle two FOIA requests,’ outside of the standard process. She wrote that she was told the decision was made by Maren Kasper, the White House adviser to HUD.”
Trump’s HUD spent $165,000 on new lounge furniture and $31,000 on a dining room set for Ben Carson, as the White House circulated plans to slash programs for the homeless, elderly and poor.
The Guardian: “The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (Hud) has agreed to spend $165,000 on ‘lounge furniture’ for its Washington headquarters, in addition to a $31,000 dining set purchased for housing secretary Ben Carson’s office.”
New York Times: “Department of Housing and Urban Development officials spent $31,000 on a new dining room set for Secretary Ben Carson’s office in late 2017 — just as the White House circulated its plans to slash HUD’s programs for the homeless, elderly and poor, according to federal procurement records.”
A senior HUD official was demoted after refusing to break the law by funding Ben Carson’s expensive office revamp.
The Guardian: “A senior career official in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has alleged that she was demoted and replaced with a Donald Trump appointee after refusing to break the law by funding an expensive redecoration of Ben Carson’s office.”