Welcome to Pay Dirt—exclusive reporting and research from The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay on corruption, campaign finance, and influence-peddling in the nation’s capital. For Beast Inside members only.
My Daily Beast colleague Jackie Kucinich and I published a story Wednesday on a fairly egregious bit of Trumpian cronyism, and its main antagonist’s response to the story merits examination for the things it can tell us about influence-peddling in the Trump era.
Our story looked at Trump’s tweeted opposition to an obscure piece of legislation granting federal recognition to the Mashpee Wampanoag Native American tribe in Massachusetts. House Democrats had brought the bill to the floor under a procedure reserved for uncontroversial pieces of legislation expected to pass without significant opposition. Trump’s tweet derailed the whole thing, and Democrats were forced to pull the bill before the vote, anticipating significant Republican resistance.