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Of course Trump wasn’t going to drain the swamp, but what he actually did is still ‘staggering’

10/17/2019 9:56 am ET Sunny Hundal

Filling up the swamp: Trump is actually employing four times as many lobbyists as Obama

After 3 years, President Trump has already employed four times as many lobbyists as the Obama administration had six years into office. This is according to a new analysis by the non-partisan ProPublica website.

Rather than draining the swamp, President Trump has enthusiastically filled it up with more lobbyists and insiders. Worse, the analysis found former lobbyists serving Trump are “often involved in regulating the industries they worked for”.

The evidence

ProPublica created a database with the names of 639 new staffers with the Trump administration, and tallied that with financial disclosures of 351 political appointees who have filled different positions over the past year. They also tracked the careers of 338 who departed government during the same period.

They found that Trump has hired a lobbyist for every 14 political appointments made, welcoming a total of 281 lobbyists on board. The work was done by ProPublica and Columbia Journalism Investigations.

‘Staggering’

It’s a “staggering figure,” Virginia Canter told ProPublica, from the non-profit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Jeff Hauser, at the nonpartisan Center for Economic and Policy Research, said: “Trump has organized the executive branch as a mechanism to reward allies and their political power. Lobbyists are hired not because they’re great at the specific matter that they lobby for but because their specialty is delivering political results.”

Trump’s broken promises

Trump promised to close a loophole so anyone spending less than a fifth of their time on lobbying can avoid that label. He has not done so.

Trump promised a five-year ban preventing recently-departed government officials from immediately joining lobbying firms. He has not done so.

Trump wanted a lifetime lobbying ban on former administration officials who previously worked on behalf of foreign governments. He has not done so.

More at  ProPublica

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