Daily Beast: Trump Claims Takes a Premature Victory Lap, or Two, in His Fight Against ‘The Swamp’

Lachlan Markay
Nov 2, 2017
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To hear the White House tell it, Donald Trump is ushering in a new era of good government. Aides point to the downfall this week of a leading Democratic lobbyist and the lower spending on lobbying in general as evidence that influence peddling and backroom dealing are increasingly relics.

But if you scratch beneath the surface just a little bit, these White House claims fall apart.

The truth, argues Brendan Fischer, the director of federal reform programs at the watchdog group Campaign Legal Center, is that “despite Trump’s drain the swamp rhetoric the swamp has only grown deeper.”

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“It is a well-known Washington scam that many lobbyists are lobbying without registering as lobbyists or reporting their lobbying expenditures,” said Fischer. 

“Candidate Trump acknowledged these loopholes,” Fischer said, pointing to a campaign proposal last year to “expand the definition of lobbyist so we close all the loopholes that former government officials use by labeling themselves consultants and advisors when they truly serve as lobbyists.”

Pointing to such narrow indicators to claim success in its anti-corruption efforts, Fischer added, is a tacit admission that not much meaningful has been accomplished on that front.

“In the absence of any accomplishments in terms of ethics or lobbying reform, and with an ethical cloud hanging over the White House, pointing to the amount reported on lobbying over a single three month period totally reeks of desperation,” Fischer said.

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