How Trump Is Filling the Swamp of Corruption

Throughout the campaign, one of Trump’s biggest applause lines came from his promise to “drain the swamp” of corruption in Washington. As we near his 100th day in office, much will be made of the fact that on January 28th he signed an executive order on ethics that will be touted as proof that he kept that promise. But the Washington Post has labelled it a promise broken.

Trump actually weakened some of the language from similar bans under Obama and George W. Bush, and reduced the level of transparency. Given that this action in many ways is a step backward, we will label this as a promise broken.

For a while now I’ve been saying, “Who needs lobbyists when Trump’s entire cabinet consists of foxes who have been hired to guard the henhouse?” Not only are they the richest cabinet in U.S. history, the New York Times reports that the swamp is being filled by corporate interests.

President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck…

This revolving door of lobbyists and government officials is not new in Washington. Both parties make a habit of it.

But the Trump administration is more vulnerable to conflicts than the prior administration, particularly after the president eliminated an ethics provision that prohibits lobbyists from joining agencies they lobbied in the prior two years…

The Trump administration’s overhaul of personnel lays the groundwork for sweeping policy changes. The president has vowed to unwind some of the Obama administration’s signature regulatory initiatives, from Wall Street rules to environmental regulations, and he has installed a class of former corporate influencers to lead the push…

…in several cases, officials in the Trump administration now hold the exact jobs they targeted as lobbyists or lawyers in the past two years.

So we have a government full of lobbyists. And you’ll never guess who they’re listening to.

Just days after taking office, President Trump invited American manufacturers to recommend ways the government could cut regulations and make it easier for companies to get their projects approved.

Industry leaders responded with scores of suggestions that paint the clearest picture yet of the dramatic steps that Trump officials are likely to take in overhauling federal policies, especially those designed to advance environmental protection and safeguard worker rights.

In other words, the wealthy real estate tycoon who made a name for himself by screwing workers got elected as president by conning people into believing he was a populist who would drain the swamp. Once in office, he hires a bunch of millionaires and fills the government with lobbyists who listen to “industry leaders” about how they can screw workers and the planet.

Is anyone surprised by this?

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .