Bad Trump: 100 former federal lobbyists work in Trump administration

So much for draining the swamp…

USA Today is reporting that more than 100 former federal lobbyists have found positions in the Trump administration. Despite his campaign promise to limit the influence on Washington by special interests, it looks like President Donald Trump is maintaining the status quo.

Citing data from American Bridge 21st Century, 69 of those lobbyists are employed at agencies that they have previously lobbied. These lobbyists also have yet to be given waivers from President Donald Trump’s ethics rules that prohibit industry insiders and ex-lobbyists from working on issues that have helped their former clients or bosses in the last two years.

The newspaper further reports:

Industry insiders and former lobbyists working in the administration range from Amy Swonger, the White House’s deputy director of legislative affairs, who lobbied on behalf of nearly two dozen clients before joining the White House staff, to Stephen Vaughn, the general counsel at the U.S. Trade Representative. He lobbied on trade laws on behalf of U.S. Steel as recently as 2015, federal records show.

Other industry figures now in the government include Kristi Boswell, who worked as a Farm Bureau lobbyist until earlier this year and now is an aide to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Robert Eitel, who has worked as a lawyer for a company that owns for-profit colleges and now serves as special counselor to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Instead, White House and administration officials say the former lobbyists and other industry officials joining the government are avoiding conflicts of interest by shedding themselves of financial ties to their former employers and agreeing to recuse themselves from working on the specific issues they handled in their old jobs.

The White House responded to the report by saying it takes the matter seriously and that they have “worked closely with all White House officials to avoid conflicts arising from their former places of employment or investment holdings.”

It looks like the swamp will remain as crony and ugly as it has been for all these years.

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