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Trump Inc – a podcast series from ProPublica and WNYC – #50 – How Trump Is Eligible for a Coronavirus Rescue

15/05/2020

About this episode – How Trump Is Eligible for a Coronavirus Rescue

 

In a late March press briefing on the coronavirus, President Trump turned the microphone over to Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of a company called MyPillow. Lindell — a regular on Fox News and at Trump properties, and a high-dollar donor to Republican causes — talked about how his company was pivoting from pillows to protective masks — and effusively praised the president’s leadership.

We’ve been thinking about who stands to benefit from the coronavirus bailout, and that unusual moment highlights the close links between Trump and allies who stands to benefit (often in more ways than just publicity) from the government response to the pandemic. On this episode of the show we’re examining:

• How the Trump family business qualifies for the two trillion dollar bailout
• How businesses close to Trump are getting regulatory rollbacks and other long-sought goals
• And what kind of oversight we should be expect in this new and uncertain era

Check out reporter Meg Cramer’s story about how businesses within the Trump Organization stand to benefit from the coronavirus bailout and Peter Elkind’s reporting on how Trump Org properties are responding to the crisis. And visit our tips page to learn how to securely share what you know. 

 

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.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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