Trump team announces 5-year lobbying ban for appointees

Anyone who is appointed to Donald Trump's administration will be banned from becoming a paid lobbyist for five years after leaving the White House, his transition office announced Wednesday night.

Trump aide Sean Spicer announced the lobbying ban on a hastily arranged conference call with reporters, the Trump team's first since last week's election. All appointees will be required to sign a form agreeing to abide by the ban before starting work.

Throughout the campaign, the president-elect vowed to "drain the swamp" of Washington, partly by decreasing the role of lobbyists and "special interests" in policymaking. Spicer said this is the first step toward that goal.

The Obama administration has its own ban in place. Anyone who had been a registered lobbyist in the prior two years is prohibited from joining — unless they get a waiver. Former Obama administration officials have also been banned from lobbying the White House.

Separately, transition officials also said Trump will meet with Nikki Haley, South Carolina's GOP governor, on Thursday, fueling speculation she's being eyed for secretary of state.

Meanwhile, officials also said the transition office will announce the members of four "landing teams" on Thursday that will begin working with the Pentagon, State Department, Justice Department and National Security Council.

Next week, economic and domestic agency teams will be announced, followed by those for independent agencies.

Off to a bumpy start with the media — Trump does not have a full-time press pool following him like past presidents-elect — the transition office also plans to begin a daily conference call with reporters.

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