Donald Trump spent his presidential campaign promising to “drain the swamp” if he was elected, but a new report shows he has done just the opposite.
According to analysis from the Associated Press, “President Donald Trump and his appointees have stocked federal agencies with ex-lobbyists and corporate lawyers who now help regulate the very industries from which they previously collected paychecks.”
More from the AP:
A week after his inauguration, Trump signed an executive order that bars former lobbyists, lawyers and others from participating in any matter they worked on for private clients within two years of going to work for the government.
But records reviewed by The Associated Press show Trump’s top lawyer, White House counsel Don McGahn, has issued at least 37 ethics waivers to key administration officials at the White House and executive branch agencies.
Though the waivers were typically issued months ago, the Office of Government Ethics disclosed several more on Wednesday. The White House had previously released more than a dozen waivers granted to its staff.
Craig Holman, a lobbyist for stricter government ethics, said, according to the AP: “It is now quite evident that the pledge was little more than campaign rhetoric. Not only are key provisions simply ignored and not enforced, when in cases where obvious conflicts of interest are brought into the limelight, the administration readily issues waivers from the ethics rules.”
Donald Trump has failed to keep his most important campaign promises
We’ve known for awhile that Trump had no intention of creating a more transparent and accountable government. As I wrote last May, citing a ProPublica report, “More than 400 officials have been hired by the president without Senate confirmation, and many of them are lobbyists and right-wing conspiracy theorists.”
But this is just one of several key pledges on which the president has not followed through – and all of them were central to his campaign.
The construction of a 2,00-mile, Mexico-funded wall on the southern border? That’s another promise that essentially died the moment he walked in the White House.
Over the course of his presidency, he has repeatedly hedged on how much ground the border wall will cover, how much it will cost and who will pay for it. What we know for sure is that the wall – if it’s ever built – won’t be as long as the president promised, will be much more costly than he claimed and, no, Mexico will not pay for it.
That promise collapsed the same way his pledge to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act did. Despite effort after effort, and complete Republican control of Congress, health care was too “complicated” for Trump. All of his proposals were widely opposed and none of them made it through Congress. Now, repealing Obamacare is a topic Trump and his GOP allies rarely discuss.
The fact that he hasn’t “drained the swamp” of lobbyists and special interested isn’t a surprise – it’s just a continuation of a pattern.
At the end of the day, this is a president who clearly said what he thought his mob of angry supporters would like to hear during the campaign. The moment he entered the Oval Office, those promises evaporated in record speed.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.