Bannon, Priebus, More Freed From Ethics Rules by Waivers

White House issues 14 waivers to Trump's own ethics rules
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2017 2:09 PM CDT
White House Issues 14 Ethics Waivers in 4 Months
White House adviser Hope Hicks (L-R), Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and senior adviser Stephen Miller, walk across the South Lawn of the White House in April. Both Priebus and Bannon are covered by ethics waivers issued by the White House.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

About a week into his presidency, President Trump signed an executive order on ethics that would limit the work former lobbyists could do for the White House, as well as prevent White House staff from working on issues that might affect former clients or employers, Politico reports. Since then, the White House has issued 14 ethics waivers covering 17 appointees working for Trump and Vice President Pence. In comparison, President Obama, who had similar ethics rules, issued 17 waivers over eight years, according to the Washington Post. The AP reports information on the current waivers was released by the White House on Wednesday upon request by the Office of Government Ethics. Here are some of the White House staffers freed from Trump's ethics rules by waivers:

  • Under a waiver, Stephen Bannon, former executive chairman of Breitbart News, can communicate with reporters and others at the conservative news site even in situations when other news organizations would be excluded.
  • Kellyanne Conway received a waiver that allows her to communicate and meet with former clients, which could include the American Conservative Union and Americans for Prosperity, among others.
  • Reince Priebus was given a waiver to participate in communication and meetings involving the Republican National Committee, of which he used to be the chairman.
  • Another waiver covers four former lobbyists, allowing them to do government business in the same area they used to lobby: energy policy adviser Micheal Catanzaro is a former lobbyist for the oil and gas industry now involved in environmental regulations; tax policy adviser Shahira Knight is a former Fidelity executive now working on taxes and retirement; economic aide Andrew Olmem lobbied for insurance companies and banks; and Joshua Pitcock, Pence's chief of staff, is working in multiple areas like opioid abuse and education on which he formerly lobbied for the state of Indiana.
(More ethics stories.)

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