A couple of weeks before Election Day, the Washington Post published a compelling report documenting the extent to which Donald Trump betrayed his "drain the swamp" vows. White House officials pushed back with a specific claim: aides pointed to an executive order the Republican signed four years ago, banning executive branch employees from lobbying any agency where they had served for five years after leaving office.
Sure, Trump had abandoned just about all of his "drain the swamp" commitments from the 2016 campaign, but that one policy remained intact, which White House officials clung to as proof that their boss still cared about the underlying principles he espoused as a candidate.
Yeah, about that....
Trump early Wednesday reversed an ethics executive order that he signed just days after he took office in January 2017 as part of his pledge to "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C. The order from four years ago had banned executive branch employees for five years from lobbying any agency where they had served. It also instituted a lifetime ban on lobbying for a foreign government. The White House released a new executive order rescinding the old one but didn't say why Trump took the action.
What's more, the new executive order was released at 1:07 a.m. (eastern).
Four years ago next week, Trump made quite a fuss about his then-policy, signing an executive order while surrounded by senior aides. "Most of the people standing behind me will not be able to go to work" after they leave government, he boasted at the time.
Four years later, Trump undid what he did, taking fresh steps to refill the swamp by launching new lobbying careers, starting tomorrow.
That said, whether anyone will be eager to hire members of Team Trump for lobbying jobs, especially with Democrats controlling the White House and Congress, remains to be seen.