Trump reels off another executive order, two presidential memoranda

UPDATE — 2/1, 1:17 p.m. EST: Government watchdogs have said that President Trump’s executive order extending the lobbying ban for administration officials to five years removed the ethics rule’s public disclosure clause.

The revamped rule now no longer requires the White House to report waivers that have been granted and whether the provision is being enforced.

Trump’s order differs with Obama administration protocol, which made the Office of Government Ethics “provide an annual public report on the administration of the pledge and this order.”


On Saturday afternoon while surrounded by national security officials and members of the White House staff, President Trump signed one executive order related to influence peddling and two presidential memorandums connected to the Islamic State (ISIS) and security policy.

Exclusive to the executive branch, an executive order assists officials and agencies manage the functions of the federal government.  A presidential memorandum is a brand of executive order intended to manage government departments and agencies.

In sum, the president has issued 15 executive orders in the eight days since his inauguration.

In signing the executive order, Mr. Trump lengthened a ban prohibiting executive branch employees from engaging in lobbying with federal agencies in place from two to five years.  Included in the five-year ban are the dramatic reductions of waivers previously allowed under similar orders signed by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

“This is a five-year lobbying ban. It’s a two-year ban now, and it’s got full of loopholes, and this is a five-year ban,” the president noted as he signed the action.

In two following presidential memorandums, Mr. Trump instructed the Department of Defense to devise a strategy to defeat ISIS and gave Defense Secretary James Mattis a time frame of 30 days to present the plan.

In the second memorandum, Mr. Trump ordered a reorganization of the National Security and Homeland Security councils.  In the final memorandum, Mr. Trump outlined specific roles for two key aides, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Homeland Security official Tom Bossert.

In an unusual move, the memorandum also identified top political aide Steve Bannon as a member of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee and removed the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Director of National Intelligence from the same panel.


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