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Pulitzer winner David Cay Johnston returns to talk about his new book, describing Trump's army of termites bent on destroying agencies and regulation.Johnston published The Making of Donald Trump last year, and is founder of the media site DCReports.org The full title of his new book is It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America.
Johnston was the lucky guy who opened his mailbox to find copies of 2 pages of Trump's 2005 tax returns, and we start there before shifting to Johnston's comments on the Trump tax cuts, the Alternative Minimum tax, and related issues. Throughout the interview, Johnston draws on his personal knowledge of Trump, who he first met in the late 1980's. He describes him as a humorless, self-absorbed man who cares little for anyone else.
We touch on the "termites" appointed to key cabinet and policy posts with a mission to dismantle regulation in ways that often favor the self-interest of those appointees. One example is Robert Eitel, who took a leave from his job as VP for Bridgepoint Education, Inc. to join the Department of Education, where he quietly killed regulatory action against Bridgepoint.
Johnston covers many outrages without becoming outrageous himself, and he doesn't focus heavily on Russiagate in the book, which we discuss near the end of the interview.