Donald Trump’s transport secretary designated a special liaison to help with grant applications from her senator husband’s state, paving the way to fund projects worth $78m.
Elaine Chao personally asked a Department of Transportation aide to serve as an intermediary and advisor to Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and his Kentucky state officials, according to emails seen by Politico.
The projects funded – as Mr McConnell prepared to campaign for re-election – reportedly included road improvements in Republican political strongholds for which grant applications had previously been rejected.
Walter Shaub, a former director of the US Office of Government Ethics, described the arrangement as “the sort of thing that should lead to the impeachment” of an official.
“We are now a full-fledged banana republic,” the vocal Trump critic added.
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