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Corruption “pervasive” in Trump White House

BERLIN: December 13, 2017. A new survey by ethics watchdog Transparency International says 44 percent of Americans now believe that corruption is "pervasive" in Donald Trump's White House – up from 36 percent in 2016.

U.S. citizens now believe corruption is on the rise in their country and the White House is the most corrupt of nine key institutions surveyed including the president's office, members of Congress, government officials, tax officials, the police, judges, local officials - plus business and religious leaders.

White House and Marine One in winterTI's latest US Corruption Barometer shows 58 percent of respondents think overall levels of corruption have risen in the past twelve months, up from 34 percent in January 2016.

Almost seven out of 10 people believe the U.S. government is failing to fight corruption, up from five out of 10 last year.

Some 55 percent of those surveyed say fear of retaliation is the main reason not to report corruption, up from 31 percent a year earlier.

"There is a clear sense that people feel corruption has gotten worse. In January 2016, Americans were already distrustful of Washington," commented TI U.S. representative Zoe Riter. "Last year Congress fared the worst in this survey. This year it is the White House, followed by Congress. Our elected officials are failing to build back trust in Washington's ability to serve the people, and still appear to represent elite corporate interests."

Almost a third of U.S. citizens think that most or all business executives are corrupt while judges remain the least, according to the latest TI survey.

In a bid to restore faith in U.S. government institutions, TI wants the Trump administration to make all spending on politics genuinely transparent with the information available on-line in real-time; to stop the exchange of personnel among corporations, lobbyists and elected and high-level government officials; to end the use of anonymous shell companies; to protect whistle-blowers; and to reinforce the independence and oversight capabilities of the Office of Government Ethics.

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