In his new book, Donald Trump Jr. casts Philadelphia labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty as an example of how “union leadership” aligned with the Democratic Party “is rife with corruption.”
Well sure, Dougherty is under federal criminal indictment. But he also just visited President Donald Trump’s White House.
In ”Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us,” Trump Jr. accuses union leaders of becoming “part of the Washington establishment — veritable swamp creatures in their own right — while the actual workers continue to suffer through flat wages, high taxes, and glacial economic growth.”
His father, by contrast, regularly brags about a roaring economy.
“For the past 15 years, he practically ran the Democrat Party in Philly and its suburbs,” Trump Jr. writes about Dougherty. “So deep into the Democrats’ pockets was he that he made sure his union local did the wiring for the 2016 Democrat National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. He met with Hillary Clinton during the campaign.”
Dougherty responded with subtle shade, noting that he met on Nov. 22 at the White House with President Donald Trump’s economic advisers — but didn’t see Junior there. Dougherty said he and other local labor leaders discussed the PES refinery in Philadelphia and proposed rail expansion projects to the Navy Yard and King of Prussia.
The White House declined to comment. Dougherty, currently awaiting trial, met with Peter Navarro, Trump’s director of trade and manufacturing policy, and Navarro’s chief of staff, a Dougherty spokesperson said.
Dougherty, City Councilman Bobby Henon and six other officials at Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are accused of embezzling more than $600,000 from the union. They have pleaded not guilty.
While Local 98 is indeed a powerhouse in Democratic campaign contributions, Trump Jr. skipped over the union’s history of support for Republicans, from City Council candidates and state legislators to former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.
Also missing in Trump Jr.'s account: Dougherty sent Local 98 members a letter just before Trump’s 2017 inauguration, complaining that the “Democratic Party has become almost solely based on cultural liberalism” and saying he looked forward to working with the new president “on issues like infrastructure, energy and undocumented workers.”
Trump Jr. also repeats in his book a claim he has made several times since the 2016 campaign: that he has insight into Rust Belt, blue-collar Democratic politics because of his time as a student at the Hill School, a posh boarding school on 200 bucolic acres in Pottstown where he learned to shoot skeet.
Tuition and room and board at Hill is $61,410. That is $15,776 more than Pottstown’s median household income of $45,634.