Vice President-elect Mike Pence has banished all lobbyists from Donald Trump’s transition team, reassuring critics who question the president-elect’s promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington, D.C.
“[W]e’re not going to have any lobbyists involved with the transition efforts,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller explained to reporters at Trump Tower on Wednesday, in response to a report from the Wall Street Journal that one of Pence’s first acts as the head of the transition team was to banish all lobbyists.
“When we talk about draining the swamp, this is one of the first steps,” Miller said.
Pence took over the transitioning job from New Jersey Governor Christie after they won the presidential election. Many of the people on the transitional team under Christie featured “a litany of lobbyists”, according to a report from Fox News.
“I think folks will be reassured that that campaign promise is going to be fulfilled,” Miller added.
During an interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes, Trump said that Washington, D.C. was full of lobbyists, but suggested he might need a few in his administration.
“Everybody’s a lobbyist down there,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of things to clean up the system. But everybody that works for government, they then leave government and they become a lobbyist, essentially. I mean, the whole place is one big lobbyist.”
Trump promised to “drain the swamp” of the federal government during his campaign, vowing to institute a five year ban on White House and Congressional officials from becoming lobbyists after leaving government service.