Dems heckle Trump’s ‘drain the swamp’ line

Greg Nash

Democrats gathered on the House floor for President Trump’s joint address to Congress broke out in muted laughter when the president said he had moved to rid Washington, D.C., of corrupting influence. 

“We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials and a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government,” Trump said. 

{mosads}As he spoke, laughter and sarcastic noises broke out among Democrats in the chamber, who have accused Trump of filling his Cabinet with billionaires and rolling back regulations meant to keep Wall Street in check.

Republicans rallied to Trump’s defense, giving him a standing ovation as he worked through the remarks.

While Trump has imposed lobbying restrictions on administration officials once they leave, he will allow lobbyists to join the government, including if they would be working on the same policy areas they did in the private sector.
There has also been no shortage of former Trump campaign or transition team officials looking to cash in on their relationships with the president, either by starting their own firms or joining others.
For example, Ballard Partners, a Florida-based firm run by Trump campaign donor Brian Ballard, just opened a Washington office and has signed 17 clients, including Amazon, Univision, the U.S. Sugar Corporation, American Airlines, Dish and the GEO Group, which is a private prison company now benefiting from a rollback of the Obama administration’s decision not to use private prisons in the federal system. 
Ballard business partner Susie Wiles managed the Trump campaign’s efforts in Florida and the firm just hired Dan McFaul, a member of the Trump presidential transition team.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s controversial ousted campaign manager, is partnering with Trump adviser Barry Bennet to reportedly sell access to the Trump administration with a new K Street firm called Avenue Strategies.The duo also performs consulting work and does not yet have any lobbying clients.
Other Trump campaign advisers are members of sprawling law firms involved in Washington policymaking. Rudy Giuliani (R), a former New York City mayor who served as a top ally to Trump during the campaign, is the head of the cybersecurity, privacy and management practice at Greenberg Traurig. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is a senior adviser in Dentons’s public policy and regulation practice.
And it’s not just those with connections to Trump himself. 
Bill Smith, a former chief of staff to Vice President Pence, is now lobbying at his own firm called Sextons Creek and works for clients including Aflac, General Dynamics, Microsoft, Verizon and AT&T.
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