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Trump administration reportedly trying to block effort to make it name ex-lobbyists on the payroll

  • The Trump administration is blocking an attempt to release waivers given to ex-lobbyists to work in the government, The New York Times reports.
  • The executive branch ethics watchdog had asked for copies of the waivers, the newspaper said.
In this Jan. 23, 2017 file photo, Walter Shaub Jr., director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics walks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite | AP
In this Jan. 23, 2017 file photo, Walter Shaub Jr., director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics walks on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The Trump administration is reportedly trying to block an effort to make it reveal the former lobbyists it has granted waivers to work at the White House or federal agencies, according to The New York Times.

Walter Shaub Jr., director of federal watchdog the Office of Government Ethics, called the move "an extraordinary thing" and said he had "never seen anything like it," the newspaper reported.

In late January, Trump signed an executive order that barred former lobbyists working in the government from dealing with the same topics that they worked on previously. The move was seen as part of the president's pledge to "drain the swamp" — reduce the role of Washington insiders in government.

But when Shaub had asked federal agencies to give him copies of those waivers, which would reveal the names of the lobbyists on the payroll, the White House asked him to withdraw that request and challenged "his legal authority to demand the information," according to the Times.

The Office of Management and Budget reportedly defended the move, saying Shaub had sent an unreasonable request, but that it was committed to upholding ethics rules, according to the Times.

Read the full New York Times story here.