The quintessence of Donald Trump, as dissected in Pulitzer Prize-winning style by Washington Post Investigative reporter David Fahrenthold, was the Trump Foundation.Ostensibly, ostentatiously, an expression of charitable intent, it was, rather, a slush fund made up almost entirely of other people’s money, used to pay off politicians and purchase Trump portraits. Hypocrisy at its most brazen.
A policy parallel to the faux-charity of the Trump Foundation is the faux-hope Trump is always offering to the victims of human trafficking. “Our country will not rest,” the president promised, “until we have put these vile [trafficking] organizations out of business and rescued every last victim.”
Doubt Trump’s sincerity? Consider this – In 2017, he declared January 2018 National Slavery and Human-Trafficking Prevention Month and in October 2018, he was the first president to address an interagency task-force meeting on trafficking.
Behind the façade of these fine words, and ceremonial deeds, these facts – in that same year, 2018, Justice Department investigations of trafficking declined by 16%, protections once offered under the Federal Trafficking Victims Prevention Act to LGBT-Q people – known to be at high risk for trafficking – were withdrawn, and many documented victims of trafficking are now being threatened with deportation or prison by being reframed as illegal immigrants or even alleged abettors of terrorism.
Even the U.S. State Department in its annual 2019 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report criticized the U.S. for those failures. Of course, the TIP report dips seem to have missed even worse administration actions that increase the dangers for trafficked people. But our guest today hasn’t. Jenna Krajeski is an investigative reporter for the Fuller Project who has written extensively about trafficking for The New Yorker and Foreign Policy.
Jenna Krajeski is a journalist and writer based in New York. From 2010 to 2015, she lived in Egypt and Turkey where she covered protest movements from Cairo’s Tahrir Square to Istanbul’s Gezi Park; Kurdish dissidents in Iraqi parliament and in mountainous rebel camps; and wrote essays about military drones as metaphor and a revolution’s impact on art markets. In 2015, she was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the following year she co-authored Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad’s memoir, “The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State.” Since 2010, her work has appeared regularly in print and online at The New Yorker, The Nation, and Slate, among others.