At least nine Donald Trump transition staffers ‘register as lobbyists’ despite US President's promised six-month ban

The US leader's pledge to 'drain the swamp' is already being flouted

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The Independent US

At least nine members of Donald Trump’s transition team have reportedly registered as lobbyists, despite the US President temporarily barring them from doing so.

Mr Trump promised in November that any transition staffers would be barred for six months from lobbying on issues for which they “had direct and substantial responsibility during service with the transition.”

But just three months into the Republican leader’s presidency, the bar seems to have had little impact. 

An influential guide to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is now registered to lobby her department, according to the Politico website, which also reported that a former head of tax policy has returned to his old company to lobby Congress on tax reform. 

Mr Trump also released an ethics plan three weeks before the election in November, pledging to ban all executive-branch officials from lobbying for five years after leaving their government jobs. 

The campaign aimed to reduce the influence of lobbyists and became part of his wider pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington. 

However, two officials who served in the White House, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former state department employee Robert Wasinger, said they never had to sign such a ban. 

"Not only will people not be able to be registered state or federal lobbyists, but when they leave government, they will be banned from being a registered lobbyist for five years," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in November.

"Why that is crucial is that it goes back to Mr Trump's goal of making sure that people aren't using the government to enrich themselves and using their service in government to do that."

The Independent has contacted a White House representative for comment but none had arrived at the time of publication.