Politics Ivanka Trump's food aid pet project was used for political gain, investigators find
A more comfortable goodbye? Vets bring pet euthanasia home
NEW YORK (AP) — Clarence the giant schnauzer came into Penny Wagner's life as a puppy at an intensely distraught time for her and her husband. The couple lost their 21-year-old daughter in a car accident nearly eight years ago. Soon after, their other child went off to college and Wagner' spouse returned to work, leaving her home alone with her grief. That's when they brought Clarence into the family. Earlier this year, their beloved pet became critically ill with advanced kidney disease.
Ivanka Trump MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
A $6 billion federal program created to provide fresh produce to families affected by the pandemic was mismanaged and used by the Trump administration for political gain, a newhas found.
As arevealed last spring and as the new report further details, the Farmers to Families Food Box program gave contracts to companies that had no relevant experience and often lacked necessary licenses. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which released its report last week, found that former President Donald Trump's administration did not adequately screen contractor applications or identify red flags in bid proposals.
The Trump Administration Used Its Food Aid Program for Political Gain, Congressional Investigators Find
by Bianca Fortis ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published. A $6 billion federal program created to provide fresh produce to families affected by the pandemic was mismanaged and used by the Trump administration for political gain, a new congressional report has found. As a ProPublica investigation revealed last spring and as the new report further details, the Farmers to Families Food Box program gave contracts to companies that had no relevant experience and often lacked necessary licenses.
One company that received a $39 million contract was CRE8AD8 LLC (pronounced "Create a Date"), a wedding and event planning firm. The owner compared the contract to his usual work of "putting tchotchkes in a bag."
In response to the report, the firm's CEO said in a statement, "We delivered far more boxes/pounds than many other contractors and as a for-profit company, we're allowed to make a profit."
The congressional report also highlighted the application of an avocado grower who was initially awarded a $40 million contract before it was canceled after a review. Under the section of the application that required applicants to list references, the farmer wrote, "I don't have any."
The Food to Families program was created by the Department of Agriculture in the early days of the pandemic to give away produce that might have otherwise gone to waste as a result of disruptions in distribution chains. The boxes included produce, milk, dairy and cooked meats — and many also included a.
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The program was unveiled in May 2020 by Ivanka Trump. "I'm not shy about asking people to step up to the plate," the president's older daughter said in an.
According to congressional investigators, Ivanka Trump was involved in getting the letter from her father added to the boxes. The USDA told contractors that including the letter was mandatory. Food bank operators told the investigators the letter concerned them because it didn't appear to be politically neutral.
On the first day of the Republican National Convention in August 2020,to announce an additional $1 billion for the food box program. Then-Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue also spoke at the event and encouraged attendees to reelect the president.
A federal ethics office laterthat Perdue's speech violated a federal law that prohibits officials from using their office for campaign purposes. The USDA at the time the notion that Perdue was electioneering, saying that Perdue's comments merely "predicted future behavior based on the president's focus on helping 'forgotten people.'"
Meghan McCain blasts Ivanka and Jared for attending father's funeral
Meghan McCain said she was upset when then-President Trump's daughter and son-in-law were at Washington National Cathedral for the 2018 memorial service for the late Arizona senator.Meghan McCain said she was upset when former President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law were spotted at Washington National Cathedral for the memorial service for the late Arizona senator three years ago.
The yearlong congressional investigation also identified problems with the deliveries themselves, including food safety issues, failed deliveries and uneven food distribution. Some contractors also forced recipient organizations to accept more food than they could distribute or store.
Committee chair, said in a statement that the mismanagement of the program is another example of the previous administration's failures.
"The Program was marred by a structure that prioritized industry over families, by contracting practices that prioritized cutting corners over competence, and by decisions that prioritized politics over the public good," he said.
ProPublica also found that theto counter the criticism that contracts were going to unqualified contractors.
President Joe Bidenin May.
Representatives of the former president did not respond to a request for comment.
McCain blasts Graham for refuting funeral remark about Kushner, Ivanka Trump .
Conservative pundit Meghan McCain tore into Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday after he refuted assertions she made about who was invited to attend her father's 2018 funeral. During a recent television interview promoting her newly published memoir, McCain said that Jared Kushner and former President Trump's daughter Ivanka had "no goddamn business" attending funeral services for her father Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). "They should neverDuring a recent television interview promoting her newly published memoir, McCain said that Jared Kushner and former President Trump's daughter Ivanka had "no goddamn business" attending funeral services for her father Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).