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 TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president 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.

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Several current Cabinet secretaries in the Trump administration formerly worked as lobbyists, including Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | Senate opens Trump trial | Pentagon to resume training Saudi students soon US military to soon resume training for Saudi students State Department cancels two classified congressional briefings on Iran, embassy security 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 CoatsSchiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Rod Rosenstein joins law and lobbying firm DHS issues bulletin warning of potential Iranian cyberattack 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.