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
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 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.

Several current Cabinet secretaries in the Trump administration formerly worked as lobbyists, including Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Suspect in Pensacola shooting identified as Saudi aviation student | Trump speaks with Saudi king after shooting | Esper denies considering 14K deployment to Mideast Pentagon: Reports of 14K troop increase in Mideast 'flat out wrong' The Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached MORE and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. 

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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 CoatsFormer US intel official says Trump would often push back in briefings Hillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cellphone data without warrants: letter 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.