US President Donald Trump’s proposed policies will increase corruption and inequality across the country, says global watchdog Transparency International. The anti-graft watchdog said Wednesday that populist politicians like Trump and French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen will bring about corruption and social inequality in societies.
Such autocratic leaders often weaken democracies, reinforce crackdown on civil societies and limit freedom of the press, the Berlin-based group said. “In the case of Donald Trump, the first signs of such a betrayal of his promises are already there,” TI’s research chief Finn Heinrich wrote in a blog about the report. TI generally defines corruption as “the misuse of public power for private benefit.”
Trump has spoken about “rolling back key anti-corruption legislation and ignoring potential conflicts of interest that will exacerbate, not control, corruption,” he noted. The US has already fallen two places in the group’s latest annual Corruption Perceptions Index, ranking 18th on the list with a score of 74 out of 100.
Denmark and New Zealand came out best in 2016, with scores of 90. Somalia remained the worst performer with a score of 10. The TI report came two days after constitutional and ethics lawyers lodged a lawsuit, saying that Trump was “submerged in conflicts of interest.” Trump, however, dismissed the allegations, saying the suit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington was “without merit.”
Trump was one of the most unpopular candidates ever elected as president, according to opinion polls. During his campaign, he made controversial remarks about Muslims, undocumented immigrants as well as African Americans. A recent Gallup poll found that 45 percent of Americans disapproved of the way Trump was handling his new job as president, while the same percentage approved of Trump’s job.