Trump paved the way for former aides to cash in on foreign government ties: report

One of Donald Trump's last actions as president -- before heading off to Florida -- was to spike his administration's ethics rules banning former aides from lobbying on behalf of foreign interests.

With his last night revocation of the rex striction, the president opened the door for close associates to cash in by seeking work from contacts they made during the four years the now ex-president was in power.

As Politico's Theodoric Meyer put it, "With those restrictions gone, former Trump administration officials will be free to represent foreign powers — exactly the kind of swamp-like behavior Trump had promised to eradicate in his 2016 campaign."

Trump made the promise of a 'lifetime" ban on foreign lobbying a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign, saying it was part of his "drain the swamp" strategy to clean up the government.

Now no such ban would restrict former White House officials -- including son-in-law Jared Kushner -- from profiting off relationships developed while representing the interests of the U.S.

According to Michael McKenna, a former lobbyist who worked in Trump's White House, e he won't take advantage of it, but, "I'm pretty confident that a bunch of people would absolutely love to represent Monaco, France, the United Arab Emirates."

Public Citizen president Robert Weissman concurred, saying, "He is undoing really the only example of policy that was supposed to evidence his commitment to drain the swamp."

Citing former Trump officials Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, the Politico report states, "The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires those who lobby for foreign governments and political parties — along with some other foreign interests — to disclose their work with the Justice Department. Several prominent Trump allies failed to do so, ensnaring them in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and other federal investigations," before adding, "There's nothing illegal or even unethical about lobbying for foreign governments, but many lobbyists try to avoid representing countries that have tense relationships with Washington or troubled human rights records."

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