Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist who launched a petition calling for the impeachment of President Trump, said the commander-in-chief has engaged in “illegal” and “treasonous” activity in interactions with foreign governments.
“There’s never one cockroach,” Steyer said. “Mr. Trump is a family of cockroaches. We just found another one. You haven’t seen the last Trump cockroach, I assure you. Oh, you mean he’s corrupt? That’s why we started the impeachment petition three years ago.”
In an interview with the Times Herald late last month At Java Joes in Des Moines, Steyer, who launched the impeachment drive in 2017, said the evidence mounts against Trump. The petition has 8.3 million signatures.
According to The New York Times, in a July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, the president asked Zelensky in that conversation to “do us a favor” and investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and conspiracy theories about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election. Trump is challenging the impeachment and told Congress on Tuesday that he will not participate in the inquiry.
Steyer’s response: What did the nation expect from the president?
“He’s all mouth,” Steyer said. “His career is, he’s a liar. He is doing exactly to the United States what he did to his Atlantic City casinos — over-promise, over-leverage, go bankrupt.”
In terms of his own candidacy, Steyer said be brings an outsider status to the race. Trump used that angle to appeal to Americans who believe government is broken, Steyer said.
“I think Democrats and Republicans know corporations have bought this government, and they believe he would actually stand up for working people,” Steyer said. “He’s done the exact opposite. He’s hurt working people.”
Steyer offered strong criticism of Trump’s trade policies, saying tariffs are devastating to certain sectors of the economy, including farming.
“Look, this is a failed policy,” Steyer said. “There is no doubt this is failed policy. This was a stupid, incompetent idea that he doesn’t know how to walk away from, and so he’s doubled down on it and he keeps hoping that somehow that stupid, incompetent idea will turn into a smart idea.
“He’s man who doesn’t understand what he’s doing.”
Steyer, who operated the non-profit environmental group NextGen, said a big part of what has to be done to improve conditions in the nation is to sequester carbon in the soil.
“Farmers are going to be a big solution for this,” Steyer said. “They’re going to get paid for it. It’s just like the wind farms in Iowa. They get paid. It’s like ethanol. They get paid.”
He added, “Iowa farmers are going to be a critical part of solving this problem, and it should make them richer for doing it.”
The businessman said U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, is on to something important with his work in rural Iowa to extend digital jobs and wealth from the coasts to the Midwest.
“He is. This rural-urban divide is huge across America, not just Iowa,” Steyer said. “I’m sitting here in Des Moines. I’ve been in Des Moines multiple times. Des Moines is booming. Des Moines is doing really well. Rural Iowa is really hurting.”
One solution is connectivity in rural areas to high-speed Internet so people can work remotely. To be involved in virtual economy, there is also an education process that’s necessary, Steyer said.
“When we think about rural, if the people are connected and well educated, then it’s going to boom,” Steyer said. “That digital connection is going to exist so you can be living in northwestern Iowa and you can be connected to Des Moines, you can be connected to Omaha, you can be connected to Chicago.”