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 TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities 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 EsperWhite House CTO chosen to serve as acting Pentagon tech chief Congress pulls punches on Russian bounties firestorm Senate Democrats demand to see copies of Trump's intelligence briefings on Russian bounties 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 CoatsTrump flails as audience dwindles and ratings plummet America's divide widens: Ignore it no longer Trump gives Grenell his Cabinet chair after he steps down 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.