Trump said he would drain the swamp and ban lobbyists, now he is giving them ethics waivers so he can hire them to work for him.
Some new Trump officials are working on policies that will benefit clients they recently served. Far from fulfilling his campaign promise to drain the swamp in Washington, President Trump is filling it with former lobbyists and consultants.
The president has relaxed ethics regulations, eliminating a requirement barring lobbyists from joining agencies that they lobbied up to two years prior.
The New York Times have highlighted some especially worrisome hires in the executive branch, including White House energy adviser Michael Catanzaro, a former oil and gas company lobbyist, and Geoff Burr, a former construction industry lobbyist now working at the Department of Labor.
A lobbyist may “un-register on Monday and enter the Trump Administration on Tuesday,” Craig Holman of the watchdog group Public Citizen told said – and could also quickly return to the private sector.
Just last week, Bloomberg revealed that Marcus Peacock, a top Trump aide who worked briefly in the Office of Management and Budget, will join the lobbying group the Business Roundtable. Peacock has recused himself from lobbying the OMB for just six months – even though he agreed not to lobby his former agency for five years, according to Bloomberg.
Trump is also issuing other ethics waivers, but that’s difficult to determine because granted waivers are generally kept secret, the Times reports. The president is also keeping White House visitor logs secret, making it difficult to track corporate representatives meetings with federal officials as they create new policy.