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White House Issues “Retroactive” Ethics Waivers to Senior Officials

HeadlineJun 02, 2017

In Washington, D.C., the Trump administration says it has granted retroactive waivers to senior staff to allow them to skirt ethics rules aimed at preventing conflicts of interest. The disclosure came in undated memos by the counsel to the president that were made public Wednesday evening. One of those benefiting from the move is Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, who has reportedly maintained contact with the far-right website Breitbart Media in violation of a White House ethics pledge. Bannon formerly headed Breitbart, which frequently publishes racist, sexist and xenophobic news. The director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, told The New York Times the move was invalid, saying, “There is no such thing as a retroactive waiver. If you need a retroactive waiver, you have violated a rule.”

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