Rachel Maddow reports on ‘Trump selling the government for cash’ in a ‘jaw-dropping scandal’
The host of 'The Rachel Maddow Show' on MSNBC (screengrab)

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday "followed the money" from Trump's inauguration to a sweetheart deal that will make climate change worse.

Maddow noted that federal prosecutors have subpoenaed Trump's inauguration committee as part of their investigation into the White House.

Maddow was gobsmacked that Trump spent so much more money than Barack Obama -- for such a small inauguration.

"It has been this puzzling thing about the Trump presidency from the very, very beginning," she noted. "What I mean is that mathematically, the numbers -- whether you have feelings about them -- they just didn't make sense."

"For the giant inauguration -- for Obama, the biggest ever -- they raised and spent about $50 million," she noted. "For the comparatively tiny one that happened after that, they spent twice that amount. They spent more than twice that amount."

"I mean, given what actually happened at the Trump inaugural, how on earth did they account for raising and spending over $100 million on this?" she wondered.

"So the question is, the obvious question is, 'Where did it go?'" she explained.

Maddow noted one after-the-fact contribution, that came even after the Trump inaugural had announced it would be giving left-over money to charity.

The $300,000 donation, which was received over seven weeks after the inauguration, came from Murray Energy Corporation -- the largest coal company in America.

Murray also donated $1 million to a super PAC that worked to elect Trump.

"Credit where credit is due -- to the enterprising reporters who have just dug up this new jaw-dropping scandal about this White House and government being put up for sale," Maddow noted.

The host explained the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federal agency with which the president "weighed in" to help Murray energy.

"This is like the Platonic ideal of corruption," Maddow noted. "Murray pays Trump -- and Trump uses the presidency to direct a public agency to pay Murray. To prop up Murray's business, use federal resource, use the taxpayers' resources, use the country's assets to reward the guy that gave him money."