Trump denies knowing lobbyist who boasted of inside access to administration

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE on Monday denied knowing a prominent Washington, D.C., lobbyist who has claimed to have inside access to the Trump administration.

"Many people say they know me, claiming to be 'best friends' and really close etc., when I don’t know these people at all. This happens, I suppose, to all who become President," Trump tweeted.


"With that being stated, I don’t know, to the best of my knowledge, a man named Michael Esposito. I don’t like him using my name to build his consulting company, or whatever," Trump continued. "Please advise his clients and Administration officials accordingly."

The tweet appeared to be a direct response to a Washington Post investigation into Esposito that appeared on the front page of Monday's paper. 

The Post reported that Esposito has quadrupled the revenues of his lobbying firm, Federal Advocates, by touting his ties to the Trump administration despite previously branding himself as a Democratic lobbyist.

Esposito has advertised himself as having an open line of communication with Trump and having previously worked with the president's son Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpGeorgina Bloomberg, Lara Trump unite for dog charity event House Democrats question Secret Service on payments to Trump properties Trump hotels charge Secret Service up to 0 per night while protecting him: report MORE and his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump campaign opening 15 community centers to reach black voters Trump declares US-India relationship 'stronger than ever before' Trumps tour Taj Mahal to cap off first day in India MORE, on real estate deals. He also boasted of having close ties with the Republican National Committee.

Eric Trump and administration officials denied knowing Esposito in statements to the Post.

Federal Advocates has steadily seen its revenue rise during the Trump administration. The firm brought in $4.7 million from lobbying clients in 2018, an increase from $3.3 million in 2017 and just over $900,000 in 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The White House said last month it was unsubscribing from the Post after Trump suggested canceling the paper.