Trump is helping big banks hurt his own voters -- after railing against them in 2016: NYT reporter
President Donald Trump at a reelection campaign rally in Grand Rapids, MI (screengrab)

New York Times reporter Nick Confessore has written a lengthy story about the ways that President Donald Trump and his administration have undermined the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was set up in the wake of the Great Recession to curb abuses by financial institutions.

The assault on the CFPB comes despite Trump's repeated attacks on Wall Street during the 2016 presidential election campaign, and Confessore points out in a Twitter thread that many of the people who are most likely to be hurt by policies such as reduced restrictions on payday lenders are blue-collar white people whose cause Trump has championed.

The leading man who went about dismantling the agency under Trump has been current acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who has been hostile to the agency's missions since its inception.

"In my story, we focus on payday lending, a smallish financial industry whose customer base in the working poor, concentrated in 'Trump states,'" he writes. "Mulvaney comes from a big payday state, where payday is widely used as credit, and sometimes some of the only credit available to them. Mulvaney and his political team at the bureau viewed the Obama-era CFPB as unconstitutional and out of control. They also argued that the imbalance of power Warren critiqued was, for the most part, not the job of government to correct."

Confessore's report details how some Christian leaders met with Mulvaney earlier this year and argued that the work payday lenders have been doing is actually sinful given the way it takes advantage of the working poor's desperation and leaves them in debt.

"The ministers had planned carefully for their moment with Mulvaney, and for 20 minutes they took turns detailing the harm that payday lending had inflicted on their neighborhoods and congregations," Confessore reports.

However, Mulvaney responded by telling them that it wasn't the federal government's job to stop people from taking out unwise loans.

"There’s no reason people should be taking these loans — but they do," he explained in justifying his inaction.

Read the whole report here.