President Trump rescinded an executive order early Wednesday morning that had limited federal administration officials from lobbying the government or working for foreign countries after they leave their posts, undoing one of the few measures he had instituted to fulfill his 2016 campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”
Trump had signed the now-reversed executive order with much fanfare in an Oval Office ceremony in January 2017.
“Most of the people standing behind me will not be able to go to work” after they leave government, Trump said at the time, flanked by senior aides.
The order required executive branch appointees to sign a pledge that they would never work as registered foreign lobbyists, and it banned them from lobbying the federal agencies where they worked for five years after leaving the government.
Ethics experts at the time noted the order had loopholes — but still offered cautious praise for Trump’s attempt at halting the revolving door that allows government employees to use their positions to land lucrative jobs in the private sector.
No explanation was given for why Trump chose to rescind the order. The White House released the directive at 1:08 a.m. on the day he will leave office. It had been signed Tuesday.