Breaking open Trump’s (PPP)iggy bank

This piece was originally published in the July 9, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.

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Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

$273 million

Up to this amount in PPP funding went to more than 100 companies with ties to major Trump donors, according to an AP analysis of SBA data.

Arizona. Florida. South Carolina. Bahrain. Louisiana.

4 of the 5 worst coronavirus epicenters in the world — where numbers of new cases per day are alarmingly high — are U.S. STATES.

Trump’s chaos has a deadly price. Watch and share this video on Facebook and Twitter to get the facts out:

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On Monday, the Treasury Department finally released data on who’s been receiving federal funds via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a loan program passed by Congress to help small businesses ride out the economic devastation of the coronavirus outbreak. Since the program’s inception, countless small business owners have reported difficulties in trying to obtain PPP funding to keep their businesses afloat. But report after report suggested that the program made funds easily available for the rich and connected.

The Treasury Department repeatedly refused to release information about who received the loans, adding another layer of suspicion as to who the money may have gone to and why. But now, after months of sustained pressure from the public and Congress, we have that information. And it’s even worse than we imagined.

At least 100 major Trump donors received PPP funds, along with multiple billionaires, Kanye West’s company, conservative anti-tax organizations, SPLC-classified hate groups, and right-wing media outlets with long records of supporting Trump.

Here are some of the worst examples:

  • G.H. Palmer, Inc. received between $350,000 and $1 million from the PPP. The company’s owner, Geoffrey Palmer, has donated $775,000 to the Trump Victory fund and an additional $8 million to the pro-Trump Super PAC America First Action.

As Trump insiders and big banks cashed in, vulnerable small businesses in need of support struggled to obtain loans. At least 140,000 businesses have closed amidst the financial strain of the pandemic, many of which are shuttered for good. This took a disproportionate toll on minority-owned businesses, who were supposed to be prioritized by the program. Nearly 90% of Black and Latinx small business owners who applied for PPP loans were rejected, and a study estimates that 40% of all Black-owned businesses will permanently close as a result of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the banks who doled out PPP aid for the Trump administration have made up to $24.6 billion in fees, more than all the businesses in each of 46 states have received from the program thus far.

Who did and did not receive funding from the Paycheck Protection Program shows us just how much stronger the swamp has grown under Trump — and raises further questions about what the administration is doing with the secret slush fund controlled entirely by Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin.


  • This morning, the Supreme Court ruled 7–2 that New York state prosecutors have the power to subpoena Trump’s financial and tax records. In a separate 7–2 ruling, the court left open the possibility that Congress could subpoena Trump’s financial records. While the public may not see these records in the next few months, it is important that the Supreme Court recognized a fundamental principle: No one is above the law — including the president. Read CAP’s statement on the rulings here.


  • At least four transgender people have been murdered in the past week, including at least three Black trans women. According to the Human Rights Campaign, this brings the total number of trans people murdered in just the first half of 2020 to 21, nearly matching the 27 people murdered in all of 2019. Support the Transgender Law Center’s work to keep trans and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation here.


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This piece was originally published in the July 9, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.

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Hard-hitting news + analysis paired with action on the issues that matter most. Working alongside @AmProg.

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