Robert Reich: The Trump Integrity Trap – OpEd


If you’re seeking employment at the Republican National Committee, you’re likely to be asked in your job interview if you believe that the 2020 election was stolen. If you say no, well, you might as well seek to work on George Santos’s next campaign. 

At the Republican National Committee — newly reorganized under Trump — agreeing to Trump’s false claim has become a kind of litmus test for employment, just as it’s become a litmus test for almost every Republican running for public office.

Even if you already have a job at the RNC, don’t count on keeping it if you fail to agree to the lie. According to The Washington Post, Trump advisers have been quizzing multiple employees who had worked in key 2024 states about their views on the 2020 presidential election.

Hell, even if you’ve repeated the big lie multiple times in the media, you might still lose your RNC job. Former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel lost hers even though she continued to echo Trump’s election lies.

McDaniel even participated in a November 17, 2020, phone call in which Trump pressured two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers not to sign the certification of the 2020 presidential election, according to recordings reviewed by The Detroit News. 

None of this was enough for Tump. Trump fired McDaniel because she was insufficiently loyal to him. 

But she was too loyal to him to land a new job. McDaniel was hired by NBC last week as a paid contributor, until network anchors and reporters revolted. They argued that by hiring her, NBC gave a green light for election deniers to spread lies as paid contributors. On Tuesday, NBC revoked McDaniel’s hire.

The New York Times said the episode underscores the challenge to news organizations “of fairly representing … pro-Trump viewpoints in their coverage.”

The real problem is there can’t be any “fair” representation of pro-Trump Republican viewpoints as long as those viewpoints are centered on the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

A political party that baselessly denies the outcome of an election has no legitimate claim to be “represented” in the media. 

Nor should any official who has gone along with the lie expect a job in a news organization.

The fact is, neither NBC nor any other legitimate news organization can find someone with integrity to defend Trump or act as a mouthpiece for the Republican Party he now controls, because no one with integrity would do so.

“Wow!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform on Tuesday. “Ronna McDaniel got fired by Fake News NBC. She only lasted two days, and this after McDaniel went out of her way to say what they wanted to hear. It leaves her in a very strange place, it’s called NEVER NEVERLAND, and it’s not a place you want to be.”

If anything, Trump understates the trap he’s sprung, not just on McDaniel but on the Republican Party. 

The entire MAGA Republican Party is now in Never Neverland. And it’s a place no one with a shred of integrity would want to be. 

So beware that RNC job interview. 

This article was published at Robert Reich’s Substack

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, and writes at Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

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