11 Reasons to Say Goodbye to Trump and AT&T at the Same Time
In a few short weeks, we can all breathe a big sigh of relief. America’s collective nightmare — Donald Trump’s hateful and incompetent administration — will finally be over.
But Trump’s legacy will surely leave lasting scars on our progressive values and democractic institutions, and his corporate backers are to blame for much of the damage that he and the Republican Party have caused.
Top of Trump’s corporate enabler list: AT&T. Publicly, AT&T claims to support social progress, including Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ rights, but then turns around and quietly funds extreme conservatives who adamantly oppose those values. Over the last four-plus years, AT&T has donated millions to Trump and some of the worst in the Republican party and profited from Trump’s dangerous agenda.
As we say farewell to 2020, it’s time for a reminder about the role AT&T played in undermining our progressive values during the Trump era. Here are 11 reasons to say #ByeDon and so long to AT&T together, once and for all.
AT&T Donated More Than $1.1 Million to Republicans in the 2020 Election
In the 2020 election alone, AT&T’s political action committee donated more than $1.1 million to the Republican party and its candidates. Not only did AT&T directly support the reelection of individual right-wing Republican candidates in 2020, it gave hundreds of thousands to party committees that worked specifically to reelect Trump, flip the House to Republican control and support right-wing Senators.
Who are some of those Republicans that AT&T’s money supported? 126 House Republicans — 60 percent of the party in that chamber, including leaders — who signed on to support Trump’s baseless lawsuit to throw out millions of legal votes in the 2020 Presidential election in a brazen attempt to undermine our Constitution and subvert our democracy. Luckily, their desperate lawsuit failed.
AT&T Donated $2 Million to Donald Trump’s Inauguration
Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee raised a lot of money. A record-setting $107 million, in fact. The more than $2 million that AT&T funnelled to Trump stood above the pack: AT&T was the largest corporate donor to the inauguration, and second only to notorious right-wing funder Sheldon Adelson.
In late 2018, it was reported that federal prosecutors were investigating the sources of Trump’s inauguration slush fund to determine if any donors illegally “[gave] money in exchange for political favors.” At the time, AT&T had been seeking approval for a $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.
AT&T Donated $2.7 Million to 193 Anti-LGBTQ Politicians
AT&T can rainbow-stripe its logo for Pride Month, wave the rainbow flag and claim it supports the LGBTQ community, but none of those things can make up for the fact that AT&T is directly funding politicians who are fighting against equality and LGBTQ rights.
While AT&T has long touted its inclusive employee policies and support of LGBTQ causes AT&T donated a total of $2,755,000 to 193 anti-LGBTQ politicians in 2017 and 2018.
AT&T Donated Nearly $200,000 to Anti-Abortion Politicians
According to the company’s career website, AT&T claims that it wants to “make sure women at AT&T feel supported in everything they do.”
Yet, as right-wing lawmakers across the country continue to enact some of the most restrictive laws on reproductive rights, AT&T donated almost $200,000 to politicians in states leading the fight to ban abortions and restrict women’s rights.
AT&T Claims to Support Black Lives Matter, Quietly Funds Anti-BLM Senator who Posed with Former KKK Leader
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and nationwide protests calling for racial justice and police reform, many corporations including AT&T jumped on the public relations bandwagon to publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement.
But reporting about the company’s donations at the time revealed just the opposite. Judd Legum at Popular Information found that while AT&T publicly claimed it supported Black Lives Matter, the company had quietly funded the campaign of Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, who adamantly opposes the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it violent, destructive and anti-Semitic. Now new reporting has revealed that Loeffler, who is currently in a heated runoff election in Georgia, recently posed for a picture with the former head of the KKK.
AT&T Paid Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s Fixer, $600,000
In 2017 and 2018, AT&T paid $600,000 to Trump’s convicted lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to “advise” on various matters in the telecommunications industry – even though Cohen is not an expert in the field.
The timing of the payments to Cohen through a shady shell corporation raises serious questions about AT&T’s intentions to influence the Trump administration. Not only was AT&T’s proposed mega-merger with Time Warner pending before the Department of Justice, but AT&T also made payments to Cohen just as Trump’s hand-picked FCC chairman Ajit Pai pushed through the repeal of net neutrality regulations despite massive public outcry.
AT&T Supported the Campaign of Ted Yoho, who Called AOC a “f*cking b*tch”
This July, Republican Rep. Ted Yoho accosted progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, calling her disgusting and a “f*cking b*itch” while wagging his finger and denigrating her in public. AT&T has donated $20,000 to Ted Yoho’s campaign.
While Yoho offered a non-apology, ridiculously claiming “I cannot apologize for my passion,” AOC countered with an incredible speech on the House floor, condemning Yoho and the pervasive sexism women are forced to endure. You can watch it here:
AT&T Made Millions from Trump’s Racist Deportation Agenda
As Donald Trump ramped up his attacks on immigrant communities, corporate America, including AT&T, cashed in. Well-known consumer brands profited from lucrative contracts with Customs and Border Protection, the agency dehumanizing immigrants, jailing children in cages without basic needs and tearing families apart.
AT&T made more than $1.8 million from CBP’s deportation agenda, including $1.3 million since Donald Trump took office.
AT&T Fired Workers after Raking in Billions from Trump’s Tax Scam
In 2017, AT&T promised it would invest $1 billion in telecom infrastructure and create “7,000 good jobs for the middle class” if Congress passed Trump’s tax scam and slashed tax rates for corporate America.
Instead, AT&T laid off 23,000 workers, cut capital spending and pocketed $3 billion in a massive tax windfall. Their CEO even took home $29 million in total compensation as his employees received pink slips.
AT&T Helped Re-Elect White Supremacist Rep. Steve King
Soon-to-be former Rep. Steve King is a racist and white supremacist. He publicly courts favor with right-wing extremists, believes immigrants are “undermining our culture” and keeps a confederate flag on his desk.
Yet, AT&T has been one of Steve King’s largest corporate donors. Over his long, racist career, King received more than $60,000 from AT&T, including $10,000 – the legal maximum limit – for his 2018 re-election campaign.
AT&T is One of the NSA’s “Most Trusted Partners”
We’ve known for a while that AT&T was working hand-in-hand with the NSA to spy on Americans’ internet traffic. But an investigative report by the Intercept revealed eight cities where AT&T hosts “wiretap rooms” for the NSA to skim data as it passes through their networking equipment.
The Intercept report confirms what we already knew: the NSA “considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s ‘extreme willingness to help.’”
If you or your friends haven’t made the switch to CREDO, ask yourself: Do you want your money supporting this?
Unlike AT&T, we at CREDO will never, ever align ourselves with right-wing hate, Republican candidates or conservative causes. CREDO members can rest assured that we will never compromise our progressive values for profit.
In contrast, our company was founded on the mission to fund the progressive movement through our philanthropy, which is powered by our members who use our products and services every day. We donate nearly $2 million each year to groups like Color of Change, the ACLU, Doctors without Borders, Planned Parenthood and 350.org who are fighting for Black lives and civil rights, peace, climate justice, LGBTQ rights, reproductive freedom and more.
If you’re not already a CREDO member and would like to switch to the mobile company that shares your values and donates to progressive nonprofits every month, please check out CREDO Mobile here.