During the Commander-in-Chief Forum on Wednesday night, Donald Trump told Matt Lauer that he has all sorts of important people advising him on policy. “We have admirals, we have generals, we have colonels. We have a lot of people that I respect.” However, the Washington Post has now discovered that most of Trump’s active policy members who were working out of his policy shop in Washington D.C. have quit because, surprise, surprise, the Republican presidential candidate failed to pay them.
A few months ago the Trump Campaign built a policy shop in the nation’s capital. The billionaire staffed it with policy writers and Rick Dearborn (Sen. Jeff Sessions’s chief of staff) along with John Mashburn (former chief of staff for Sen. Thom Tillis) were given the job of leading the shop. The team worked day and night before and during the Republican National Convention in an attempt to make Trump’s campaign not look like the dumpster fire that it is. After the convention was over, though, they were still waiting to be compensated.
When the shop was originally opened under Corey Lewandowski the staff was told that all of their positions were paid positions, but when Lewandowski was forced to resign and Paul Manafort took over they were suddenly told that they were never going to get any money and labeled as “volunteers.” In August, after months of being lied to, the majority of the people working as policy advisers at the shop quit. Although the staffers were all forced to sign non-disclosure agreements, some of them were so pissed off about the way they were treated, they spoke to the Washington Post anyway:
It’s a complete disaster,” one disgruntled former adviser said. “They use and abuse people. The policy office fell apart in August when the promised checks weren’t delivered.
Another staffer said,”I heard it from Dearborn, I heard it from Mashburn. It was understood that we would be paid. The campaign never discussed how much the pay would be. It was never in writing. There were some people who were treating it as a full-time job. I suspect that those people were quite astonished when the pay didn’t come through.”
Campaign spokesman Jason Miller is, of course, disputing the claims that the staffers were ever promised compensation. Apparently, he, like Trump, believes that people should just work for free because that’s fun! According to WP:
The list of people who quit the Trump D.C. policy office is long. It includes J.D. Gordon, who was the office’s director of national security and was instrumental in organizing Trump’s “national security advisory committee,” led by Sessions. Also, conservative author William Triplett, Tera Dahl (a former assistant to Michele Bachmann), Ying Ma (who previously worked for Ben Carson) and many others.
In addition to the problems Trump had with paying his advisers, he apparently never even met with some of these people he “respects” so much. “The national security advisory board was total nonsense. They had absolutely no say in anything,” one of the former advisers said. “Most of them are just names on paper.”
“If people are going to vote for Trump, it’s not going to be for policy. That’s not who Trump is; that’s not the campaign,” said one former adviser. “Would I say we had any demonstrable effect on anything they did in the campaign? No. None of us in the D.C. office were in Trump’s inner circle. It’s questionable still who is.”
It’s just as we suspected all along: Trump has absolutely no policy plans and he gives zero fucks about the people who work for him. If he treats his staff like this, can you imagine how he will treat the country?
Featured image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images