President Trump campaigned heavily on a pledge to “drain the swamp” in the nation’s capital. Since taking office, he’s made sure to reiterate his guarantee to fulfill that promise:
Someone incorrectly stated that the phrase “DRAIN THE SWAMP” was no longer being used by me. Actually, we will always be trying to DTS.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
It’s a commitment however that critics have panned the President for not following through on. From Trump’s numerous hires of former Goldman Sachs employees to the many seasoned political and corporate insiders who populate the top posts in his administration, it’s not a difficult case to make. This concentration of financial and political clout is a key factor in the Trump Administration being the wealthiest to date in US history:
— DW – Business (@dw_business) January 20, 2017
President Trump made a big show of implementing tough ethics guidelines which included a lobbying ban even before his inauguration:
Trump transition team announces five-year lobbying ban for appointees | Fox News kick a.. https://t.co/nP6G6KAD7t
— Pamela Golden (@pamm_golden7) November 18, 2016
Some are charging that the President’s lobbying ban is nothing more than a ruse. Reports have been recently surfacing that waivers have been granted by the Trump White House to get around the tough terms which the President initially set in place:
How many ethics waivers have been issued to lobbyists-turned-Trump admin officials? White House tries to block data https://t.co/Cvprl8EYg6
— Michael Beckel (@mjbeckel) May 22, 2017
Journalists would like to see how many lobbyists are working for Trump despite the ban. It appears that the Trump administration is trying to block that effort.
The New York Times reports that the head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) was sent a letter by Mick Mulvaney of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OGE had pressed the White House to release this information, and instead received this:
— My 2 Sense (@cyberma01) May 22, 2017
The letter from Mulvaney questions the legal authority of the OGE to request information about the waivers and release it to the public. Walter Shaub Jr heads the OGE, and has previously been a thorn in the Trump Administration’s side. Speaking with the New York Times on the matter, Shaub did not hide his shock at the request he received. “It is an extraordinary thing. I have never seen anything like it.”