It worked. Trump won the election in November, much to the surprise of nearly every political observer. Now in office, however, Trump has often failed to practice what he previously preached. In fact, the very things he was once so critical of when it came to Clinton and Obama have been fixtures of his administration. Here are a few.
Improper Ties to the Russian Government
Trump and his team said Clinton had improper ties to the Russian government during the 2016 campaign, drawing attention to Clinton’s involvement in the sale of uranium to Russia and the “praise of Russia by Hillary.” Emails released Tuesday revealed that his son Donald Trump Jr. actively sought damaging information about Clinton from Russian agents in 2016.
Lack of Transparency
As a private citizen Trump frequently criticized Obama for refusing to release records, calling him the “least transparent president ever” in 2012. He even accused Obama of paying to seal his college records because he had something to hide. Since taking office Trump, has rolled back several precedents for transparency put in place during the Obama administration, including reversing a policy of releasing White House visitor logs. Trump also has not yet released his tax returns, becoming the first president and presidential candidate not to do so in four decades.
Too Much Time on the Golf Course
During his campaign, Trump accused Obama 27 times on Twitter of golfing too much. At a rally in 2016, he declared: “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to play golf.” In his first 100 days in office, Trump played golf 17 times, while Obama played once during his first 100 days.
Sharing Classified Information
Trump frequently criticized Clinton for her use of a private email server and for sharing sensitive information through unsecured technology. In May, Trump came under fire himself for sharing highly classified information with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while meeting with them in the Oval Office.
Requests for Immunity From Possible Prosecution
After three of Clinton’s IT aides involved with her private email server sought immunity and refused to testify in front of the Senate House Oversight Committee, both Trump and his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, made statements suggesting that their desire for immunity was an admission of guilt. “[I]f you’re not guilty of a crime,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Iowa, “what do you need immunity for, right?” In March, Flynn requested immunity from possible prosecution after he resigned for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his communication with the Russian ambassador. Trump subsequently tweeted his support for his former aide.
Politicizing the Department of Justice
Trump accused Attorney General Loretta Lynch of making “law enforcement decisions for political purposes” in the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email. He claimed Lynch gave Clinton a “free pass.” Since becoming president, Trump has also been accused of politicizing the Department of Justice. He asked former FBI director James Comey to make his investigation into Flynn’s relations to Russia and lobbying work go away, according to Comey’s testimony. Comey also said the president was concerned about a political “cloud” over his head because of the investigation. Trump then fired Comey and acknowledged he did so to ease the pressure of the FBI’s investigation into his ties to Russia.
Too Close to Wall Street
Trump criticized Clinton’s ties to Wall Street on the campaign trail, saying she’s made millions giving speeches to private banks and is “owned by the banks.” When he became president, Trump nominated Steven Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs trader and hedge fund manager, to be Treasury secretary, alongside billionaires Wilbur L. Ross Jr., who was chosen to run the Commerce Department, and Gary Cohn, a former COO of Goldman Sachs picked to lead the National Economic Council.
Mixing Public and Private Business
Trump accused Clinton of mixing private and public business by using her position as secretary of State to extort contributions for the Clinton Foundation. After his election, Trump put his extensive international business holdings in the hands of his two sons. But he stands accused of using his office to benefit his properties by visiting them nearly every weekend. Moreover, his son Eric has said he may share quarterly reports with his father, and ProPublica reported that President Trump could draw from his businesses at any time without public disclosure.
Retaliation Against Assad
When Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack killed more than 1,000 people in 2013, Trump advised Obama not to counter-attack, arguing that “there is no upside and tremendous downside.” After Assad was blamed for another chemical weapons attack in April, Trump launched 59 Tomahawks to strike a Syrian airbase in response.
Collaboration With the Saudi Arabian Government
In 2016, Trump criticized Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for their collaborations with the Saudi Arabian government. “You talk about women and women’s rights?” he said. “These are people that push gays off business, off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly and yet you take their money.” In June, Trump announced plans to sell $110 billion of weapons to arms Saudi Arabia.