Contract Canceled: Never Trump Movement Leader’s Firm Loses $120K Sweetheart EPA Deal Under Scrutiny

Matt Rhoades
AP Photo

A $120,000 no-bid contract between NeverTrumper-led public affairs company Definers Corp and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been canceled after complaints emerged in response to the award.

Definers Corp issued the following statement on dropping the 2018 contract, according to President Joe Pounder:

Definers offered EPA a better and more efficient news clipping service that would give EPA’s employees real-time news at a lower cost than what previous Administrations paid for more antiquated clipping services. but it’s become clear this will become a distraction. As a result, Definers and the EPA have decided to forgo the contract. We look forward to continuing to provide our cutting-edge Console war room products to our corporate clients, but will no longer work with federal government clients.

After the contract had been awarded and before it was canceled, Definers’ Senior Vice President Colin Reed told Mother Jones that the firm contracted with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s office to provide the agency with their “Definer’s Console” product. The product offers a “war room”-style, client-tailored media monitoring and response enabling platform that includes a human analysis with the “client interests foremost in mind.”

A federal description of the yearlong contract read, “News analysis and brief service focusing on EPA work and other topics of interest to EPA.”

According to federal records on the contract, there were no other bids taken or solicited for the contract.

Definers Corp was founded by Matt Rhoades, former campaign manager for Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 presidential campaign. The firm also lists Tim Miller as a partner in the firm. Miller is not only a former communications director for Jeb Bush’s failed 2016 presidential campaign, but is described, in part, on Definers’ website as “senior advisor to the GOP’s leading anti-Trump Super PAC ‘Our Principles,’ and was co-founder of America Rising LLC and America Rising PAC.”

Upon news of the contract, Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer told Breitbart News Tonight hosts on SiriusXM Patriot 125, “This is an example of the consultant class in Washington, DC. … It’s really a strange phenomenon, if you think about it, to most of us.”

Schweizer told radio host Rebecca Mansour during the Friday night show, “What makes the consultant class different is that while they sort of talk about those things, it’s really a business for them. What I mean by that is, at the end of the day, depending who wins or loses, it doesn’t seem to matter that much because they’re in business together.”

He compared the situation to professional wrestling, where it looks like the two wrestlers are fighting each other, when really they’re in business together: “This is all for show.” He added that not everything in Washington, DC, is for show, “but a lot of it seems to be.” He called the Definers Corp contract with the EPA a great example of this.

“You’ve got this consulting firm, not fans of Trump, ostensibly in favor of smaller, limited government – but they’ve now got a government contract from the Environmental Protection Agency to essentially provide a clipping service for the EPA,” said Schweizer. “This is one of the things that drives people nuts about Washington, and that is that there’s all this money flowing around, all these people are making money, and they’re telling us they’re passionate about ideas, but at the end of the day, it’s really about making money and getting a paycheck. So it’s hard to take seriously a lot of what the consultants are trying to sell the rest of us.”

Just four days later, Definers Corp released the statement notifying the public that the contract has been canceled.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.


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