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Public Citizen: Trump’s Lobbying Policy Will Not Stop Rampant Corruption

Jan. 28, 2017

Public Citizen: Trump’s Lobbying Policy Will Not Stop Rampant Corruption

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The lobbyist policy that President Donald Trump has adopted today is inconsequential in light of the president and his administration’s demonstrated disdain for ethics and conflict of interest standards, said Public Citizen.

“President Donald Trump’s continued appointment of corporate-connected Cabinet officials makes a mockery of such revolving door efforts, said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “The Cabinet as chosen will be chock full of CEOs with baked-in conflicts of interest and predisposed stances against the American people. While that condition persists, such ethics pledges are only fancy icing on a cake made of mud.”

“It all comes down to the details and enforcement,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “The ethics commitments read well, but are they real? The chief lawyers in the Trump Administration don’t believe in these types of ethics rules. So the key questions are how will they be interpreted and enforced.”

About the new policy, a senior administration official told Politico, “If you want to come work in this administration, you can’t seek to profit from this administration.”

Replied Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen: “President Trump is profiting from this administration, most recently by the raising of the price of Mar-a-Lago club membership – a pay-for-access arrangement. Special adviser Carl Icahn is profiting from this administration, pushing policies that directly benefit his investments. Cybersecurity adviser Rudy Giuliani appears set to profit from this administration. The cabinet appointees and other political appointees will be free to cash in when they leave the government, just not by lobbying, and are poised to benefit their old industries and friends while in government. And given the contempt the president, transition and administration have shown for ethical standards in just the few months since the election, there’s every reason to expect they will try to do so.”

“There’s every reason to expect this administration will be the most scandal-ridden in history, and today’s executive action does nothing to change that,” said Weissman.