In 2016, candidate Trump’s platform included the famous “drain the swamp” vow to dramatically reduce the numbers of lobbyists in his new administration.

Trump kept his word. In 2017 he issued an executive order prohibiting officials of his administration from lobbying for a former employer for a five-year period. The same order also forbade former Trump political appointees from lobbying the administration after departing his administration, probably for more lucrative jobs.

Enforcing that order has been deemed unnecessary by Trump (so why should we follow any other executive order?). As of today, at least 80 former Trump administration officials are now registered as lobbyists (i.e., for Goldman Sachs, Facebook, insurance and business firms).

Trump continues to hire former lobbyists (defense, labor, interior and energy secretaries, EPA and Homeland Security) who have been influential with policies benefiting former employers.

At least 40 lobbyists with close ties to the administration have aided their new clients in obtaining $10 billion of the recent federal coronavirus aid, violating Trump’s own written ethics policy.

So much for draining the swamp; it’s deeper and murkier than ever.

Let’s ask Trump about broken ethical promises and corruption come election time.

Meredith Millard

Greensboro

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