Has President Trump "drained the swamp" or simply created a new one? The group of lobbyists supporting Trump's re-election is reportedly one of the smallest to support a president in decades, but they may still be among the most powerful, The New York Times reports.
While Trump rode the "drain the swamp" slogan to victory in the 2016 election, the Times reports lobbyists and donors are still heavily involved in Washington politics and are earning big-time money in the process. For example, the Times reviewed congressional and Justice Department filings that showed eight lobbyists and operatives with ties to lobbying firms who are now working to help Trump get re-elected — either in paid or unpaid capacities — have been paid nearly a combined $120 million through their firms for their work advocating before the United States government since the beginning of 2017, when Trump took office, through March 2020.
Lobbying isn't a new practice, of course, but several of those operatives, including two of the top three earners, had never advocated at the federal level before Trump was in the White House. Then there's David Urban, a former West Point classmate of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper who helped broker a key deal for arms maker Raytheon. Urban first registered as a lobbyist at the federal level in 2002, but his revenues have jumped from $9 million in the 40 months before Trump was elected to more than $25 million in the 40 months since he was sworn in, the Times reports. Read more at The New York Times.