Government watchdog files 30 ethics complaints against Trump administration

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A liberal government watchdog group has filed 30 ethics complaints with government agencies, including the White House. 

Public Citizen says in complaints obtained by NBC News that government employees have worked against President Trump’s executive order to keep lobbyists out of the government. 

“The bottom line is that neither Trump nor his administration take conflicts of interest and ethics seriously,” Lisa Gilbert, the group’s vice president of legislative affairs, told the network. 

” ‘Drain the swamp’ was far more campaign rhetoric than a commitment to ethics, and the widespread lack of compliance and enforcement of Trump’s ethics executive order shows that ethics do not matter in the Trump administration.” {mosads}

NBC News reports Public Citizen filed complaints with the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Health and Human Services, Commerce and Interior, among others. 

Trump signed an executive order shortly after he took office in 2017 that was aimed at cracking down on lobbyists’ influence in the U.S. government. 

The order allowed officials who departed the administration to lobby the government, except the agency for which they worked, and permitted lobbyists to enter the administration as long as they didn’t work on specific issues that would impact former clients or employers for two years. 

The order also prohibits political appointees from lobbying for a foreign government after leaving public service.

“These 30 apparent violations of Trump’s own ethics rules are only the tip of the iceberg,” Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, told NBC News. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment. 

Public Citizen in October said it found 44 active lobbyists with ties to Trump or Vice President Pence who had contributed nearly $42 million in lobbying revenue and spending through the first half of 2017.


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