Donald Trump has spent much of his campaign railing against “special interest” groups. He constantly reminds the American people that he believes only the rich should run for elected office every time he tweets or says that he is the only one self-funding his campaign. The reality of that claim has been disputed by many since Trump has loaned his campaign money, which means he can get it back through the donations received via the two DONATE buttons on his website, but that’s another story.
As much as Trump attacks special interest groups and lobbyists, one would think that he’d have nothing to do with them, right? After all, why would he meet with the very groups that he demonizes as a big part of his campaign? If he did meet with them, he’d be straight-forward with what was discussed, right? I mean, he wouldn’t actually have a “secretive meeting” with special interest groups and lobbyists in which attendees had to agree not to divulge what was discussed, now would he?
Not only would he, he actually did.
Last week when Donald Trump was in D.C., he not only met with officials from the RNC, he also had a secretive meeting with special interest groups and lobbyists. In fact, the meeting was so secretive that there was no paper trail for the invites. Attendees were invited by phone.
Nicholas E. Calio, a former lobbyist who worked on legislative affairs for President George Bush, was in attendance. Mr. Calio is now the president and chief executive of Airlines for America, a large trade group. There was also Juanita Duggan, the president and chief executive of the National Federation of Independent Business, another major trade group. She is a former aide who served in the first Bush and Reagan administrations, and she was once an official with the tobacco giant Philip Morris Companies.
An aide to Ms. Duggan confirmed her attendance, but said that she was respecting a request not to discuss what took place. Penny Kozakos, an aide to Mr. Calio, said in an email that “Mr. Calio regularly meets with leaders of industry, members of Congress, other elected officials, including those seeking office, about the airline industry and its importance to the economy and jobs.”
The Trump campaign is spinning the meeting as one organized by Senator Jeff Sessions who, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks says, gathered people “who he respects” together.
It just so happens that all of those people are special interest groups and lobbyists who Trump has spent so much time demonizing during his campaign.
But, I guess we’re not supposed to notice that.