Drain The Swamp Or Waive That Pledge?

Trump shouts one while doing the other

The following text was excerpted from a May 31 article in The Washington Post. (Art and links added by Sloth.)

The White House disclosed Wednesday evening that it has granted ethics waivers to 17 appointees who work for President Trump and Vice President Pence, including four former lobbyists.


The rate at which the Trump White House has handed out waivers is far faster than that of the Obama administration, which issued 17 exemptions for White House appointees over eight years.


Conway WizardAmong the high-profile figures who received waivers: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, who were both permitted to engage with their former employers or clients.

BannonIn addition, a blanket waiver was given to all executive office appointees to interact with news organizations — a move that gives chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon permission to communicate with Breitbart News, the conservative website he used to run.


Goldman Sachs LogoThree of the former lobbyists given waivers to work in the White House serve as staffers to the National Economic Council, headed by former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn. (Cohn did not need a waiver because he recuses himself from participating in matters specific to Goldman Sachs, according to a White House official.)


Michael Catanzaro, a domestic energy and environmental policy adviser. Catanzaro was granted permission to work on a broad portfolio of matters of interest to his former energy sector clients, including emissions regulations, clear air standards and renewable fuel standards.


Fidelity LogoShahira Knight, a White House adviser on tax and retirement policy, received a waiver to participate in a range of tax and financial policy matters. Knight, a former tax lobbyist, served as vice president of Fidelity Investments public affairs and policy group before joining the White House.


Andrew Olmem, who lobbied on bankruptcy and securities issues at the firm Venable before joining the White House as a financial policy adviser, has an exemption to meet with former clients involved in Puerto Ricos financial crisis and engage in a range of insurance and financial policies.


Joshua Pitcock, who serves as chief of staff to Pence, was issued a waiver when it comes to broad policy matters affecting the state of Indiana, for which he previously worked as a lobbyist.

Trump Drains, Dems Laugh

(June 2, 2017)


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