So much for draining swamp

To the editor:

It has been reported recently that Elaine Chao, who serves as a member of the Trump cabinet in the position of secretary of transportation, has used her significant political influence in the awarding of $78 million for transportation projects for Kentucky, the home state of current United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who just so happens to be the spouse of Chao, as he is about to officially begin his campaign for re-election. It has been stated that Chao even took the liberty of assigning a special liaison to assist in the grant process, seemingly tipping the scales even further for the obvious benefit of her husband, politically, and the state which he serves.

Also, it has been reported that Chao and her husband have received “millions of dollars in gifts from Chao’s father,” who had, until recently, served as director of the Foremost Group, and has long conducted considerable shipping business with China and might have used her influence to further boost her family’s business with China, causing considerable concern among U.S. government officials, as reported by the New York Times.

In addition, McConnell recently stated, when asked if he would be receptive to filling an opening on the U.S. Supreme Court during the final year of President Donald Trump’s current term in office, his response was, “Oh, we’d fill it,” which completely contradicts his refusal to even hold a hearing of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland during the final year of his presidency, delaying the filling of the vacancy that was created as a result of the death of Justin Antonin Scalia until the upcoming election had taken place. Seemingly, such delays only apply when the president is a Democrat.

Recall, also, that it was McConnell who refused to endorse and participate in what was to have been a joint declaration with Obama and congressional Democrats condemning Russian involvement during the 2016 election.

Perhaps such was in response to the Russians working in support of his candidate, Republican Donald Trump?

So much for draining the swamp. These are but a few of a great many examples that indicate that rarely, if ever, have we seen such levels of legitimate concerns over quite obvious conflicts of interest and prioritizing personal gain and political expediency over the needs of our great country by high-ranking officials.

Sadly, it appears that the swamp might well have never been swampier.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry


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