Northrop Grumman halts political donations over Capitol Hill violence

Last yr, Northrop Grumman’s PAC contributed roughly equally to Democrats and Republicans.

“We are pausing political action committee giving and evaluating the way forward,” stated Northrop Grumman Vice President of Communications Tim Paynter. Northrop Grumman didn’t launch a press release explaining its determination.

Northrop Grumman’s transfer to halt donations is important in an trade usually reluctant to criticize the commander in chief.

Trade associations representing the protection trade issued statements publicly condemning the violence, however didn’t immediately criticize Trump or single out congressional Republicans. Aerospace Industry Association President Eric Fanning condemned the riots together with “those that incite such violence” without naming Trump directly. National Defense Industrial Association President Hawk Carlisle called the riot “despicable” for causing a “breakdown of the rule of law” and “the desecration of the Capitol building.”

The defense industry has in many ways walked in lockstep with Trump since he took office. The industry has benefited significantly from increased military spending under Trump, as well as the president’s support for international arms sales. Lockheed Martin became a centerpiece of a White House-sponsored advertising campaign highlighting the administration’s job creation credentials.

When Trump blamed “both sides” for violence at a Charlottesville white supremacist rally in 2017, protection companies had been among the many few firms that supported the president’s enterprise councils. Other firms left the councils in protest, resulting in their dissolution.

Northrop Grumman was not a part of the president’s business councils even before the Charlottesville rallies. But the company suffered its own fallout from the rally when ProPublica and the television program “Frontline” identified one of its systems engineers as a member of a white supremacist organization. Northrop Grumman fired the engineer after a video surfaced showing him punching a Black man at the Charlottesville riot.

Political giving from Northrop Grumman’s employee-funded PAC reached $4.8 million final yr in response to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics; its highest level in at the very least 30 years. Contributions from the PAC in 2020 had been roughly evenly break up between Democrats and Republicans, barely favoring Democrats. Between 2014 and 2020 Republicans acquired extra from the corporate.

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