The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture over the past few weeks has shipped millions of food aid boxes loaded with produce and other food from America’s farmers to help those in need. The boxes are stuffed with potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, melons, tomatoes, onions, and a letter from the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
First Daughter Ivanka Trump publicized the food aid boxes on social media a few weeks ago. Conspicuously placed in the photos is the letter from President Trump, taking credit for “safeguarding the health and well-being of our citizens,” just months before the election.
2K+ Farmers to Families Food📦were given to families in need thx to @MilitaryProduce,GAFoods & Cornerstone Chapel.
Special shoutout to @MilitaryProduce for getting 93% of Farmers to Families🌽🍎🥛📦to Opportunity Zones.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 14, 2020
Addressed to “Dear Family,” the letter, printed in English and Spanish reads: “You and your loved ones are cherished members of our great American family.”
As ProPublica reports, Democrats say the letter is unlawful.
“Using a federal relief program to distribute a self-promoting letter from the President to American families just three months before the presidential election is inappropriate and a violation of federal law,” 49 House Democrats, led by Marcia Fudge of Ohio, say in an official letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “A public health crisis is not an opportunity for the administration to promote its own political interests. Likewise, a federal food assistance program should not be used as a tool for the President to exploit taxpayer dollars for his re-election campaign.”
Trump bragged about the food aid boxes in a visit to North Carolina last month, when he “announced … that USDA will spend an additional $1 billion on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.”
This is far from the first time President Trump has, possibly unlawfully, used the tools of the federal government to assist his campaign to win re-election.
Trump had his name imprinted on the coronavirus relief checks sent to millions of Americans, a compromise measure since he was not allowed to have his signature on them as he reportedly had wanted. He used the White House as the base of the Republican National Convention during which he announced his acceptance of the GOP nomination. Trump regularly uses his White House press conferences, held in the press briefing room with the White House logo prominently displayed, as thinly-veiled campaign rallies. His press secretary and many White House aides regularly bash his Democratic opponent with campaign talking points.
In fact, trump has been illegally using the federal government to help himself win re-election at least as far back as his illegal quid pro quo use of congressionally-approved federal funds to threaten the government of Ukraine, strong-arming them to dig up or manufacture illegal “dirt” against Joe Biden and his family.
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