Team Trump is already filled with Washington insiders


Washington (CNN)To shape his administration, President-elect Donald Trump is drawing squarely from the “swamp” he has pledged to drain.

Trump’s transition team is staffed with long-time Washington experts and lobbyists from K Street, think tanks and political offices.
    It’s a far cry from Trump’s campaign, which ended only Tuesday night, and message that he would “drain the swamp” in Washington. He has advocated congressional term limits and proposed a “five-point plan for ethics reform” that included strengthening restrictions on lobbying, including five-year bans for members and staff of the executive branch and Congress from lobbying, and expanding the definition of lobbyist to prevent more revolving door activity.
    But he has so far fully embraced lobbyists within his transition, and all signs point to a heavy influence from longtime Washington Republican circles on his transition. And with Trump mostly skipping detailed policy proposals during his campaign, these they can have a powerful impact on his agenda.
    A senior aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence said that the former congressman would have a strong role in Trump’s administration working with Congress and on legislation. But the aide also said that the transition would have to find people outside of Washington to staff the administration.
    “This campaign was an outsider campaign. It would be foolish to go ahead and place a whole bunch of DC insiders into roles, right?” the adviser said. “So it’ll be a mix.”
    Trump is also competing with lobbying shops themselves for some of the top talent in Washington. Having prepared mostly for a Hillary Clinton presidency, Washington had been hiring Democratic talent. After Trump’s surprising win, K Street is also trying to staff up with the best GOP policy staff from Capitol Hill and around DC.
    James Wallner, group vice president of research at Heritage, said he is encouraged that Trump will heed the recommendations of his organization for two reasons. One is that their ideals line up with many of his campaign promises, and two is that Heritage has made an effort to craft all of their recommendations in an easy-to-use manner.
    “You don’t have time to digest a huge tome of material to have some moment of enlightenment to say, ‘Oh I’ve figured out how to solve our health care problem.’ You really need actionable type information that you can then process and make up your own mind on how to proceed and how to advise people to proceed,” Wallner said. “As long as President-elect Trump appoints people to this administration that are going to do things that are consistent with the promises he made while campaigning for this office that the American people clearly supported, then I’m optimistic about where we’re going.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/10/politics/donald-trump-transition-drain-the-swamp/index.html

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