Politics has always been a nasty piece of business and throughout the history of America, the presidential cabinets were corrupt to one degree or another. However, some presidents were not so lucky with the people who surrounded them and here are six US presidents with most corrupt cabinets. Also, we will draw parallels to see how this compares to the current situation and incumbent president Donald Trump.
At the onset of the Civil War, James Buchanan failed to act which only helped his corrupt cabinet. One of the most important people at the time was Secretary of the Treasury Howell Cobb who “abandoned his faith in the Union.” He assisted in the formation of the Confederate States of America and went against the US.
However, there was another member of Buchanan’s cabinet who weakened the military and he was called John B. Floyd. In the meantime, Secretary of the Interior Jacob Thompson conspired to set fire to New York. Buchanan’s cabinet was quite harmful to the US.
Under Jackson, the spoils system was established. It meant that government officials got jobs based on what they had done for the incoming administration. “It took decades to dismantle the spoils system that started under Jackson,” the publication explains. “And it can be argued that it’s never gone away completely.”
Ulysses S. Grant
Despite Grant was honest and honorable, his Cabinet was quite shady. The publication reports: “A near-ceaseless flow of money from speculation and western expansion led to an epidemic of corruption.” But Grant didn’t acknowledge the problem. Instead, he “responded by stubbornly protecting those accused of graft.”
Over 100 officials that were under grant were stealing tax revenue from whiskey sales and most of the Secretaries were easily bribed.
Warren G. Harding
Despite having a short presidency, Harding will remain remembered for a corrupt Cabinet and a large number of scandals. His Secretary of Interior Albert Fell was in prison due to the Teapot Dome scandal, which also claimed the Secretary of the Navy. Also the attorney general resigned over a “bootlegging kickback scheme.”
Richard Nixon may as well be the most corrupt US president of all time and everybody knows that he faced impeachment after the Watergate scandal. However, his vice president Spiro Agnew was implicated in a tax evasion scheme.
But that was not all. Nixon’s CIA director conducted illegal surveillance on US journalists and plotted assassinations in Chile. And these are just the bigger ones.
The Raegan’s administration was quite notorious with 138 members faced investigations, indictments and convictions. People are familiar with Iran-Contra Affair. The US government led by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger illegally sold arms to Iran. With the money gained from weapon sell, they funded Contra rebels to overthrow Nicaragua’s socialist regime.
The Washington Post says that Trump spent decades “not only manipulating the economic, legal and political systems to increase his wealth but publicly bragging about his ability to do so.” Furthermore, Trump is believed to be using his position to promote his private businesses, according to Huffington Post.
Trump promised to drain the swamp and chase away people who are not working for the benefit of the country. However, is that really the case?
Time explains, “While his Cabinet-level picks have been less traditional — a lot more billionaires and retired military officers than usual, for one thing — it’s clear that they are much more swampy as a whole than Trump pledged.”
Trump’s first mandate is not even over yet and already his administration has been plagued with scandals. After everything that has happened, will Trump get another chance to run the country?