You can expect to hear more, rather than less reports like this, in the coming year.
Remember that diplomatic faux pas with the call between Trump and Taiwan?
Well, there are several things to know about the call, beginning with reports that the call was planned in advance.
Secondly, it seems that former Senator Bob Dole may have been the responsible for setting up the call.
Dole’s law firm has been working with Taiwan since last year, raking in $20,000 a month to advocate in Washington for Taiwan’s interests.
Public documents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act show the Taiwanese government paid Alston & Bird LLP, a law firm that lists Dole as special counsel, thousands of dollars to lobby for the government’s interests. The firm also helped Taiwanese officials meet with Republican lawmakers in Washington. The details of the contract were first reported by BuzzFeed News.
On Monday, Dole said he “may have had some influence” in setting up the call, which was seen by some political observers to break with tradition of refusing to recognize Taiwan as an independent nation from China. The last call a U.S. president made to a Taiwanese leader was in 1979.
Specifically, the law firm represented the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, which serves as the embassy for Taiwan. Since November of 2015, the firm has earned $200,000 from Taiwan’s government.
Under the contract, Dole advocated on behalf of the Taiwanese government to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Department of Homeland Security secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, and former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, BuzzFeed reported.
Dole also said he would help Taiwan become involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump has promised to end.
Does any of this mean there was anything to be concerned about, regarding the call? After all, isn’t this just business as usual, in Washington?
Well, it doesn’t sit well, especially in light of the diplomatic breach. It also changes the narrative of supposed swamp draining, even more.
Not only is Trump not draining the swamp of Washington, but he’s wallowing in the swampiness of it all.