Donald Trump threatens 'core institutions of American society', says former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich

Ben Kentish
Former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s style of politics is an attack on the “core institutions of American society”, according to a former US Labour Secretary.

Robert Reich, who served in Bill Clinton's government between 1993 and 1997 said the US President posed the “biggest danger” to American democracy.

“Trump’s and Bannon’s ‘anti-establishment’ politics is…an attack on the core institutions of American society: an independent and free press, the courts, science, freedom of religion, and free and fair elections untainted by foreign influence” he wrote in a post on Twitter. “This is upside-down populism.”

Mr Reich, who now works as an academic and political commentator, added: “It’s crucial that we preserve and protect these core institutions – which since the founding of the republic have been our only real hope of constraining oligarchic control of America.

“The biggest danger to these democratic institutions is the big money, financial conflicts of interest, corruption, and ethical carelessness Trump is blatantly encouraging.”

Mr Reich also criticised the role of Mr Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who has become a close adviser to her father and was the subject of controversy earlier this month when it emerged she had been given a White House office, despite having no formal governmental position.

Ms Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, is another senior aide to the president and has been tasked by Mr Trump with bringing peace to the Middle East.

“The Trump-Bannon brand of ‘anti-establishment’ politics isn’t an attack on the people who inhabit the American establishment”, Mr Reich wrote. “Quite the contrary: Trump has filled his administration with billionaires, CEOs, and Wall Street moguls. And he’s thrown ethics out the window. There’s no longer any clear line between family business and national business.

“Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner – owners of a vast real estate and investment empire worth as much as $740 million and now among the most senior federal government officials – have in recent weeks hosted, alongside Trump, chief executives of the world’s largest automobile, airline, chemical, pharmaceutical and tech companies”, Mr Reich wrote.

The Independent has contacted the White House for a response.