FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, White House counsel Don McGahn gestures while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md. As a candidate, Donald Trump pledged to drain the swamp in Washington. But as president, records show he and his appointees have stocked federal agencies with ex-lobbyists and corporate lawyers who now help regulate they very industries rom which they collected paychecks. Records reviewed by The Associated Press show McGahn, has issued at least 24 ethics waivers to key administration officials at the White House and executive branch agencies. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

What swamp? Lobbyists get ethics waivers to work for Trump

March 08, 2018 - 12:34 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his appointees have stocked federal agencies with ex-lobbyists and corporate lawyers who now help regulate the very industries they used to work for.

A week after his inauguration, Trump signed an executive order barring officials from participating in any matters they worked on for private clients within two years of going to work for the government.

But records show White House counsel Don McGahn issued at least 24 ethics waivers to key administration officials. One disclosed just Wednesday allows FBI Director Chris Wray "to participate in matters involving a confidential former client."

Asked about the waivers, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters says, "In the interests of full transparency and good governance, the posted waivers set forth the policy reasons for granting an exception to the pledge."

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