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Trump Swamp
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January 3, 2019 4:56 p.m.

This Week: Industry Insiders, Former Lobbyists Make Cabinet Room Debut

When President Donald Trump convened his Cabinet for a meeting Wednesday, there were a few new faces around the table: Sitting to the President’s left was Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan; on the President’s right, acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Both come with their own conflict-of-interest concerns: Shanahan, who replaced James Mattis, was a Boeing executive before joining the administration. And Ryan Zinke’s replacement, Bernhardt, used to lobby for the oil industry. The new acting chiefs join the former lobbyists who currently run the Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency regulating corporations they once worked for. Zinke was there too, with one foot out the door — and under continued scrutiny from the Justice Department, reportedly for potentially lying to his agency’s inspector general. With Democrats taking back control of the House of Representatives on Thursday, expect more serious policing of the White House and executive agencies, beginning immediately. Among Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s top…

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