Lobbying

Key Trump Cabinet positions are filled by former lobbyists

Donald Trump looks mad.
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former oil industry lobbyist David Bernhardt became acting secretary of the Interior on Wednesday following the departure of Ryan Zinke.

Why it matters: President Trump campaigned on the promise of "draining the swamp." But Bernhardt is just the latest in a revolving door of special interests to take over key positions in the president's Cabinet. The New York Times’ Eric Lipton notes that as of Thursday, the Defense Department will be run by a former Boeing executive, the Department of Health and Human Services will be run by a former pharmaceutical lobbyist and the Environmental Protection Agency will be run by a former coal lobbyist.

Flynn's ex-business associates charged with illegal Turkish lobbying

 Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, leaves following his plea hearing
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Two of Michael Flynn's former business associates, Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin, were charged on Monday with illegally lobbying for the extradition of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims engineered a failed coup in 2016.

Why it matters: "The indictment is further evidence of a broad crackdown on unregistered foreign lobbying growing from the inquiry by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who has investigated foreign flows of money from Ukraine, Turkey and other countries designed to manipulate decision-making in Washington," the New York Times reports.

More stories loading.