President Donald Trump signed a lifetime foreign-lobbying ban for members of his administration Saturday, as well as a five-year ban for all other lobbying.
The lobbying ban was a central component of Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., though his commitment to the slogan has wavered. Trump has hired top donors to his campaign for administration jobs, while relying on industry lobbyists for both his transition and administration staff.
“This was something, the five year ban, that I was talking a lot about on the campaign trail and we will now put it into effect,” Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office.
Speaking to reporters earlier Saturday, a senior administration official confirmed that the ban wouldn’t keep lobbyists from joining the administration. “It’s not about your past, it’s about your future,” the official said.
“We want to bring on people who have extensive experience in whatever issue area they’re handling,” the official added, “and that may have included being one of the best lobbyists for the world in that area.
An official said the ban represents an enforceable agreement against members of Trump’s administration unless the order is rescinded by a future president.