I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.
– Republican Senator Rand Paul, February, 2017, reminding the world of why Republicans will never hold their own party accountable
People are asking me to use the power of Congress to do a full-on fishing expedition to investigate him personally on things that are not required by law. I think my doing that would be an abuse of power.
– Utah Senator and Chair of the House Oversight Committee Jason Chaffetz, February 10, 2017, after nine separate fishing expeditions into Hllary Clinton over two years, and vowing in 2016 to continue the fishing expeditions if she won
I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect some things in return. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment… Furthermore, we expect the Republican party to use the money to promote these policies, and yes, to win elections.
– Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, 1997
We’ve never seen this kind of wealth in the White House, and so traditional rules don’t work. We’re going to have to think up a whole new approach.
In the case of the president, he has a broad ability to organize the White House the way he wants to. He also has, frankly, the power of the pardon. It’s a totally open power. He could simply say, ‘Look, I want them to be my advisers. I pardon them if anyone finds them to have behaved against the rules. Period. Technically, under the Constitution, he has that level of authority.
– Republican Newt Gingrich, December 19, 2016, when ask about Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest
Trump: Well, I’m not releasing the tax returns, because as you know, they’re under audit.
Reporter: But every president since the ’70s has —
Trump: Gee, I’ve never heard that. I’ve never heard that before. You know, the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters, OK?
Reporter: You don’t think the American public is concerned about that?
Trump: No, I don’t think so. I won. I mean, I became president. No, I don’t think they care at all.
– President Donald J. Trump, January 11, 2017, when asked if he’s going to release his tax returns
The transition is not concerned about the appearance of a conflict. This is an annual celebratory event at the private club, like others that have continued to occur since the election. Additionally, the president cannot and does not have a conflict.
– White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks, January 1, 2017, on if the transition team is concerned about the $420,000 in rental fees President-Elect Donald J. Trump charged to the U.S. for the rental of his own property.