In one of his last acts as president, Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a directive allowing his staff to immediately begin lobbying, reversing his own 2017 executive order aimed at stopping his aides from using their influence for personal gain.
Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump, who won the White House in part by promising to "drain the swamp", on Wednesday revoked his executive order barring aides and other administration officials from lobbying.
The restrictions, imposed soon after he took office in 2017, had targeted the kind of insider culture that Trump had campaigned against and blocked the kind of lucrative gigs that he had said makes politicians beholden to business interests instead of everyday Americans.
In an executive order released overnight hours before he was due to leave office, Trump withdrew the ethics order that had said his appointees would not lobby their own agency for five years after leaving, and would not lobby any government appointee for two years.
It had also required them to agree to a lifetime ban on working on behalf of foreign governments or foreign political parties.
Former Democratic President Bill Clinton rescinded his own five-year ban barring senior White House officials from lobbying former colleagues as he exited the White House in 2000 after two terms in office.
Trump, a real estate developer and former reality television star, never formally separated himself from his business interests while in office, although he said he had handed day-to-day control over to his two eldest sons.
The arrangement, which ethicists said did not prevent conflicts of interest, prompted legal challenges.
The executive order came as Trump issued a wave of pardons and commutations in his final hours in office, which included his former White House aide Steve Bannon and Rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, but did not include himself, members of his family or lawyer Rudy Giuliani.