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Trump Exempts Entire Senior Staff From White House Ethics Rules

After a pointed exchange with ethics officials, the White House has released a list of waivers to Trump’s ethics rules—and Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and more are exempted.

05.31.17 10:55 PM ET

President Donald Trump has exempted his entire senior staff from provisions of his own ethics rules to allow them to work with political and advocacy groups that support the administration.

Staffers given a pass on those rules include White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who has the green light to communicate and meet with “political, advocacy, trade, or non-profit organizations” that formerly employed her consulting firm, despite ethics rules that would otherwise bar work with former clients.

Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon also received a waiver to the rules as part of a blanket exemption for all White House appointees allowing them to communicate with the press. His reported discussions with former colleagues at the pro-Trump site Breitbart News, which Bannon chaired until last year, had raised red flags among ethics watchdogs.

Bannon and Conway will both be free to work with a network of political groups backed by the wealthy Mercer family, which was integral to Trump’s victory last year and continues to support his agenda as president.

The White House on Wednesday released a list of waivers to the ethics pledge imposed by a January executive order on all administration nominees and appointees. It agreed to do so only after a pointed exchange with federal ethics officials over the scope of their oversight authority.

Three former lobbyists in the White House, and one on the vice president’s staff, have also been exempted from “revolving door” rules imposed by that executive order, allowing them to work on administration policies that might benefit former clients.

The list provides the first official glimpse at the extent to which Trump has circumvented his own ethics rules by hiring former special interest advocates of the type that he railed against on the campaign trail.

But it does not cover the entire Trump administration and only discloses waivers granted to officials in the Executive Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President. The Office of Government Ethics had requested all waivers issued to appointees administration-wide, but it was not immediately clear whether those were to be made available by the White House or the applicable federal agencies.

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about further waiver disclosures.

The West Wing’s three former lobbyists have been given wide latitude to work on a range of policy issues that might dovetail with the interests of their former clients.

Energy policy adviser Michael Catanzaro—a former energy industry lobbyist with clients in the oil, gas, and coal sectors—“may participate in broad policy matters and particular matters of general applicability relating to the Clean Power Plan” and other Obama administration environmental rules.

“Particular matters of general applicability” generally refer to laws or regulations that affect a narrow and identifiable group—say, a single industry. In effect, Catanzaro will be free to promote policies that benefit his former clients as long as he doesn’t go to bat for them directly.

So too will Shahira Knight, a White House economist and former lobbyist for financial services giant Fidelity who can now “participate in broad policy matters and particular matters of general applicability relating to tax, retirement and financial services issues.”

Andrew Olmem, another White House economist and a former lobbyist for a host of large financial services and insurance firms, will be free to work with former clients on specific issues affecting bank capital requirements, financial regulation of insurers, and the Puerto Rican debt crisis, all issues on which he has recently lobbied.

Those officials have been given freer rein to advance their former clients’ financial interests, but ethics rules have also been waived for every other “commissioned officer”—staffers who report directly to the president—in the White House who has worked for a political group in the past two years.

That will allow a number of White House staffers to collaborate with pro-Trump advocacy operations. The West Wing is stacked with officials who have made significant sums working, consulting for, or representing high-profile political organizations, including networks of groups financed by the Trump-backing Mercer family and the libertarian Koch family.

Conway herself consulted for more than 50 political, policy, and advocacy organizations last year, according to a White House financial disclosure statement.

She and Bannon will be free to continue working with two campaign vendors in particular, Glittering Steel and Cambridge Analytica, that are key components of the Mercers’ pro-Trump political endeavors. Bannon helped lead both companies, and Cambridge Analytica enlisted Conway’s consulting services last year.

The White House also issued a collective waiver to six White House officials formerly employed by the law firm Jones Day, which has sent more than a dozen attorneys to the Trump administration, allowing them to meet and communicate with former colleagues representing the White House, Trump, his campaign, “or political entities supporting the president.”

The White House’s waiver disclosures came after a tense back and forth with the Office of Government Ethics. The White House initially disputed that OGE had the authority to demand a full list of waivers granted to administration appointees.

After OGE director Walter Shaub disputed those “highly unusual” claims, the White House agreed to disclose all ethics pledge waivers.

Disclosure was more regimented under a similar executive order imposed by President Barack Obama in 2009. That measure directed OGE to regularly update its website with a list of waivers to a similar ethics pledge—Obama granted 49 in total over eight years and across his entire administration—along with detailed explanations of why those waivers were in the “public interest.” No such explanations accompanied the Trump White House’s list.

Ethics watchdogs appeared nonplussed by the release on Wednesday evening.

“We now know who was given a waiver from their WH ethics pledge,” wrote the left-leaning group Citizens for Responsibility in Washington on Twitter. “Looks like the end of the drain the swamp illusion.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-exempts-entire-senior-staff-from-white-house-ethics-rules

 

 

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VogueMusic    0

tumblr_nho2hgFhAY1u70ed8o1_500.gif

 

I literally burn with rage every single time I hear anything about this administration.

I don't even have the words to articulate the feelings anymore, except for - Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all.

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Sanctuary    0
3 hours ago, Hector said:

He's still obsessed with Hillary 

 

 

She's still on fire and sassy as f&ck. 😍😍😍

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VogueMusic    0
4 hours ago, Hector said:

He's still obsessed with Hillary 

 

 

17,658 retweets to her 151,283. 

:newspaper:

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Mmmmm    0
50 minutes ago, VogueMusic said:

17,658 retweets to her 151,283. 

:newspaper:

You should tweet that to him, he will SEETHE!! Lol 

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Lolo    0

What a whiny old brat. Imagine any other country's leader tweet something like that...This is priceless. I'm not asking what America did to deserve this punishment of the Gods, cause it's pretty self explanatory. But I think we get the point now, it's enough, Americans should find a way to end this charade. 

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Martin B.    0

Each new day of this administration is more and more like an episode of season 4 or 5 of House of Cards. The way he uses any situation (the stupid PR stunt of Kathy is the latest example) to create a perpetual background noise that covers the real issues that are the incompetence of his administration and all the scandals that emerge almost daily.

Just a year ago, the way the president in House of Cards manipulated and lied to turn US democracy to a camouflaged dictatorship seemed totally unbelievable. Not today.

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What a disgrace. I'm so sad for americans. The world will survive Trump but will they ? A few days ago it was a 9.2 billion dollars cut in the budget of education impacting the most empoverished regions of the country, today is the Paris agreement on climate. How can we expect a selfish stupid 70 y/o man to think about the future when he won't see it ? He won't see how his lack of decency and brains will destroy his own country.

Shall we have to intervene with our military force to free americans and the world from this dangerous buffoon ?

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Hector    0

Rest In Peace planet Earth! :banghead: That press conference he and Pence gave was so idiotic and shameful.

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Jazzy Jan    0
13 minutes ago, Roland Barthes said:

What a disgrace. I'm so sad for americans. The world will survive Trump but will they ? A few days ago it was a 9.2 billion dollars cut in the budget of education impacting the most empoverished regions of the country, today is the Paris agreement on climate. How can we expect a selfish stupid 70 y/o man to think about the future when he won't see it ? He won't see how his lack of decency and brains will destroy his own country.

Shall we have to intervene with our military force to free americans and the world from this dangerous buffoon ?

I don't know how the American Public can put up with having this dangerous buffoon represent them. 

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7 minutes ago, Hector said:

Rest In Peace planet Earth! :banghead: That press conference he and Pence gave was so idiotic and shameful.

I can't believe this part (and the one about climate change being about us parisians like WTF ?)

 

fr.JPG

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2 minutes ago, Jazzy Jan said:

I don't know how the American Public can put up with having this dangerous buffoon represent them. 

When the full fledge effects of his stupid policies will start to be in place and hurt people daily, i fear for civil war in the US. 

I truly wish from the bottom of my heart that no other tragedy like Katrina will hit the USA in the coming months but if it does, people will want his head on a fork.

I hope people will give Kathy Griffin a break now btw. 

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Jazzy Jan    0

Trump and his cronies disgust me to the core.  Pulling out of the Paris agreement on Climate Change is appalling, dangerous, selfish and uncaring.  He has no conscious, no vision, no intelligence and the disgusting party he represents loves it.   All of the religious right are getting what they want because he does not care about anything - well apart from money and his ego. 

The media has to start ramming home in the strongest way possible about what his policies are doing to the world and now to the environment.  I am beyond furious that most of the coverage lately about him has been joking about Cofeve and rambling on about Kathy Griffin.  Look at what he is doing and concentrate on the real issues that are effecting the entire world.  

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President Macron is having a press conference right now about this in french first then in english 15 minutes later

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Jazzy Jan    0
6 minutes ago, Roland Barthes said:

President Macron is having a press conference right now about this in french first then in english 15 minutes later

Will be interested to hear what he says.  What a slap in the face for people trying to save the environment - having the USA pull out of an agreement for Trump's own self interests and hearing him whine about paying too much.  This reminds me of one of those movies where aliens would invade the Earth and the President would grand stand for his own country and stuff everyone else.   Seems to stupid to be true - but is exactly what Trump would do. 

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Macron & Merkel say they will go on with Cop21

 

He has not started his press conference yet, you can see it here. He's supposed to say whatever he said in french first in english 15 minutes after his speech in french

 

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Jazzy Jan    0
2 minutes ago, Hector said:

:megamanson: :megamanson::megamanson::megamanson::megamanson:

 

Shameful.  Beyond words how he can try and justify this decision with such a stupid response. 

 

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Sanctuary    0
26 minutes ago, Hector said:

 

 

Results for Allegheny County (Pittsburgh). The citizens of Pittsburgh did not elect him, nor do they need his representation. 

IMG_5450.PNG

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He said "America turned its back on the world, we won't turn our back on americans" He made clear that he knows Trump is not America

 

He did a very powerful and determined speech.

 

He's doing the speech in english now.

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Macron finished his speech in english trolling Trump saying "We will make our planet great again"

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