As President Trump leaves Washington DC on Wednesday, he leaves behind a complicated legacy – that much is undeniable.
Trump was sent to DC with a purpose. He was meant to the outlier and the noise. He was meant to be the antithesis to the status quo, and it’d be foolish to suggest that he wasn’t exactly that.
But there were troubles too, as there are for any high office in this land, and Trump will be remembered for the good as he is for the bad.
On his final day in office, he made one more memorable move, as he revoked one of his own executive orders on lobbying in Washington.
Donald Trump, in one of his final acts as president, released current and former members of his administration from the terms of their ethics pledge, a move that once again laid bare the failure to meet his 2016 campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”
Trump won the presidency, in part, on a pledge to take on entrenched special interests in Washington, and his ethics policy was one of his first acts after assuming office.
But in practice it proved to be little more than bluster. Trump instituted a major loosening of ethics standards when compared with the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama, as well as the rules that will govern Joe Biden’s White House.
While Trump’s policy ostensibly included a five-year ban on former officials lobbying their former agencies, it also included large loopholes that allowed many to skirt the rules. The administration also avoided enforcing it, government watchdog groups say.
Trump has been rumored to be considering the formation of a new political party in the moments following his first term in office, which may have had some bearing on this decision.
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