Trump pushed hard for company owned by GOP donor to get $400 million contract. It just did — despite not meeting standards
For months President Donald Trump has “personally and repeatedly urged the head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” to award a lucrative Defense Dept. contract to build a portion of his wall on the Southern border to a construction company owned by a GOP donor. On Monday, despite reports that the North Dakota company, Fisher Sand and Gravel, did not meet Defense Dept. standards and has a history of tax and environmental violations, the DoD awarded Fisher the $400 million contract, The Washington Post reports.
Trump reportedly has been so active in pushing for Fisher to be awarded the contract that at one point on Fox News the president told Sean Hannity his administration was dealing with the company’s owner, and declared the company had been “recommended strongly by a great new senator, Kevin Cramer.”
That Senator, Republican Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, has also been pushing for Fisher Sand and Gravel to get the contract despite its owner, Tommy Fisher, being a donor to Senator Cramer, The Independent reports.
President Trump has seen Tommy Fisher advocate for the contract in his multiple appearances on Fox News, the president’s favorite cable news channel.
“In phone calls, White House meetings and conversations aboard Air Force One during the past several months, Trump has aggressively pushed Dickinson, N.D.-based Fisher Industries to Department of Homeland Security leaders and Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, the commanding general of the Army Corps,” The Washington Post reported in May. “The push for a specific company has alarmed military commanders and DHS officials.”
Tommy Fisher has ties to former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon, Blackwater USA founder Erik Prince, ex-GOP congressman Tom Tancredo and former Kansas GOP secretary of state Kris Kobach. Bannon and Kobach have worked for Trump, Prince is the brother of Eduction Secretary betsy DeVos.
In an August report on Trump’s “brazen” corruption The Nation described the four men as “an all-star cast of grifters and white nationalists.”
“Tommy Fisher and his wife gave more than $10,000 — the maximum allowable contribution — to Cramer in 2018 as he ran for Senate, campaign finance records show. Fisher was Cramer’s guest at Trump’s State of the Union speech in February that year, and the CEO said he shook the president’s hand afterward,” The Washington Post notes, adding that “Trump backed Cramer last year in his campaign to unseat Democrat Heidi Heitkamp.”
A 2017 report from NBC affiliate 12 News (video below) states the city of Phoenix “filed 467 criminal charges” against Fisher Sand and Gravel, along with “2000 city and county violations.”
Meanwhile, the Post also reports that President Trump “has been enamored with Tommy Fisher,” after seeing him on Fox News.
In May The Washington Post created this compilation of some of Fisher’s appearances on Fox News: