The Trump administration may have skirted federal ethics rules by retroactively granting a blanket exemption that allows Stephen K. Bannon, the senior White House strategist, to communicate with editors at Breitbart News, where he was recently an executive.
The exemption, made public late Wednesday along with more than a dozen other ethics waivers issued by the White House, allows all White House aides to communicate with news organizations, even if they involve a “former employer or former client.”
The waiver, which was undated, did not mention Mr. Bannon specifically, but appeared to benefit him by potentially dislodging him from a pending ethics complaint over his past discussions with Breitbart editors. It would also free him from restrictions on his future communication with the conservative media company.
The waiver, and the fact that it remains unclear when it was originally issued, seemed unusual to Walter M. Shaub Jr., the director of the Office of Government Ethics, who questioned its validity.