Warren to Trump: Everyone is Accountable — Even You

Senator’s speech at progressive policy will focus on conflicts of interest

Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be delivering a lunchtime keynote at Tuesday’s Center for American Progress conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be delivering a lunchtime keynote at Tuesday’s Center for American Progress conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:00am

When Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivers a lunchtime keynote address to a progressive policy conference Tuesday afternoon, she will be directing her remarks at the president.

“I have news for Donald Trump: No matter how much he might admire Vladimir Putin’s Russia, here in America, we will never accept autocracy. Here in America, we embrace and defend democracy,” the Massachusetts Democrat will say. “And we do that by demanding that everyone in our government is accountable, even the President of the United States.”

According to advance excerpts, Warren will reprise concerns about conflicts of interest with the Trump administration, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s background as the chief executive of Exxon Mobil.

“Goldman Sachs has enough people in the White House to open up a new branch office. The Senate is scheduled to vote just this week on a nominee for Associate Attorney General who worked for years at the Chamber of Commerce to shield companies from any government accountability,” Warren’s speech says. “Do you get the feeling that if Bernie Madoff weren’t in prison, he’d be in charge of the SEC right now?”

Warren is referring to the already lined up vote to limit debate on the nomination of Rachel Brand to be associate attorney general. That vote is likely to take place late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Brand was the chief counsel for regulatory litigation at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Warren is set to tout several transparency and oversight proposals, including increasing support for the offices of inspectors general at various federal departments and agencies, as well as the Office of Government Ethics.

“Before I was a senator, I was a law professor. I taught contracts, business transactions, and bankruptcy. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I believe that strong, healthy markets are the key to a strong, healthy America,” Warrensays in the excerpts. “But today markets are struggling. In every corner of our economy, competition is increasingly choked off.  Airlines, banking, health care, pharma, agriculture, telecom and tech — in industry after industry, a handful of giant companies control more and more and compete less and less.”

Warren was expected to make her remarks during an all-day policy conference at a hotel ballroom in the Georgetown neighborhood organized by the Center for American Progress. The event features a slew of Democratic lawmakers, many of whom (like Warren) are viewed as potential Trump challengers in the 2020 election.