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Trump Inc – a podcast series from ProPublica and WNYC – #32 – The Family Business (19 September 2019)

26/09/2019

About the series

Podcasts are a good form for presenting the surreality of this era, Eric Umansky, an editor at ProPublica, told me recently. “You can capture the absurdity in ways that you can’t in text,” he said. The excellent investigative podcast that he works on, “Trump Inc.,” from WNYC and ProPublica, began in February and concludes next week. Its premise is at once straightforward and audacious: it asks big, specific questions about Donald Trump’s famously mysterious business dealings, including those concerning possible connections between his Presidency and his profits; investigates them; and encourages listeners to pitch in and help. It features several personable, savvy-sounding reporters: Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz, of WNYC, and Jesse Eisinger and Heather Vogell, of ProPublica, and it has a collaborative spirit. Reporters from other outlets (including The New Yorker’s Adam Davidson) offer additional information and insights. One episode features David Fahrenthold, of the Washington Post, answering listener questions; another was inspired by a comment that Fahrenthold made about Trump suing local municipalities in which he had businesses; a listener tip resulted in a mini-episode about Trump commissioning golf-tee markers with the Presidential seal on them. Umansky told me that one “superfan” listener “went to the courthouse in Westchester to look up cases for us.” Everybody gets to be a detective. Or, as the show’s Web site puts it, “Help Us Dive Into the Swamp.” 

https://audio.wnyc.org/trumpinc/trumpinc091819_cms962508_pod.mp3

 

About this episode – The Family Business

The Trump, Inc. podcast from WNYC and ProPublica is back. And we’ll be bringing you new episodes every two weeks. 

When we started all the way back in early 2018, we laid out how we’d be digging into the mysteries around President Donald Trump’s business. After all, by keeping ownership of that business, Trump has had dueling interests: the country and his pocketbook. 

We’ve done dozens of episodes over the past 18 months, detailing how predatory lenders are paying the president, how Trump has profited from his own inauguration and how Trump’s friends have sought to use their access in pursuit of profit

We’ve noticed something along the way. It’s not just that the president has mixed his business and governing. It’s that the way Trump does business is spreading across the government. 

Trump’s company isn’t like most big businesses. It is accountable to only one man, it has broken the rules, and those promoting it have long engaged in what Trump has dubbed, ahem, “truthful hyperbole.”

Those traits are now popping up in the government. It may seem like the news from Washington is a cacophony of scandals. But they fit clear patterns — patterns that Trump has brought with him from his business.  

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