Trump has named more ex-lobbyists to Cabinet in 3 years than Obama, Bush did in full terms: report

Trump has named more ex-lobbyists to Cabinet in 3 years than Obama, Bush did in full terms: report
© UPI Photo

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDefense industrial base workers belong at home during this public health crisis Maduro pushes back on DOJ charges, calls Trump 'racist cowboy' House leaders hope to vote Friday on coronavirus stimulus MORE's administration now employs more ex-lobbyists in Cabinet-level positions than the George W. Bush and Obama administrations did during two terms in office.

A report from The Associated Press found that the Trump administration has outpaced both prior administrations in naming former lobbyists to high-level posts despite Trump's frequent promises during the 2016 campaign to "drain the swamp" of corruption and special interests in Washington.

ADVERTISEMENT

Several current Cabinet secretaries in the Trump administration formerly worked as lobbyists, including Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperDefense industrial base workers belong at home during this public health crisis An insecure America and an assertive China Overnight Defense: Pentagon grapples with coronavirus outbreak | Aircraft carrier docks in Guam after more sailors test positive | Army hospitals to reach NY on Friday MORE and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. 

Acting Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella as well as his proposed replacement, Eugene Scalia, are also both former lobbyists, the AP reported.

Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsExperts report recent increase in Chinese group's cyberattacks Acting director of national intelligence begins hiring freeze: reports Ratcliffe nomination puts Susan Collins in tough spot MORE, Trump's former director of national intelligence, also previously was a lobbyist and worked to stop the federal government from closing tax loopholes that benefited his company, according to The New York Times.

The total number of Cabinet-level ex-lobbyists who serve or previously served in the Trump administration now totals seven, according to the AP. The Obama administration employed five during eight years in the White House, and the Bush administration employed three during the same length of time.

Government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) blasted the Trump administration in a statement to the AP, pointing to the ending of a requirement of a two-year "cooling off" period before ex-lobbyists previously were allowed to work in federal positions related to issues on which they had previously lobbied.

“Without the cooling off period, these Cabinet heads appear to be serving their former employers’ and clients’ special interests,” Virginia Canter, CREW's chief ethics counsel, told the news service.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill on the AP's report.