WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump acted Saturday to fulfill a key portion of his pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington, banning administration officials from ever lobbying the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government and imposing a separate five-year ban on other lobbying.
Administration officials described the bans as historic in scope. But it was not immediately clear how either one would be enforced.
Trump has said individuals who want to aid him in his quest to “Make America Great Again” should focus on the jobs they will be doing to help the American people, and not thinking about the future income they could rake in by peddling their influence after serving in government.
“Most of the people standing behind me will not be able to go to work,” Trump joked, referring to an array of White House officials lined up behind him as he sat at his desk in the Oval Office. The officials included Vice President Mike Pence, chief of staff Reince Priebus, senior strategist Steve Bannon and counselor Kellyanne Conway. “So you have one last chance to get out.”
Trump said he talked about the ban a lot during the campaign and “we’re now putting it into effect.”