The president has, on a broad level, only enjoyed moderate success in implementing his agenda since taking office. As he has learned the hard way, the entire nation is not poised to fall in line behind his every whim and see proposals like his U.S./ Mexico border wall through to reality.
In his efforts to see his policy proposals through, it’s an established fact at this point that he is relying on a remarkably fluid cast of characters. Now, this Tuesday, the president has been revealed to be losing yet another member of his administration; this time, it’s top energy policy aide Michael Catanzaro who is on his way out. He had been on board since February of last year.
Catanzaro was a lobbyist before joining up with the government and he is returning to such a position upon his exit. He worked at CGCN Group before the Trump administration, and early this week, CGCN Group’s managing partner Steve Clark commented:
‘Our firm is like a family, and we are proud Mike wanted to come back to us after his service in the government. He is a tireless worker with an unrivaled command of energy and environmental policy and even stronger sense of integrity. His experience in the White House will be an invaluable resource for current and future clients, and we will make every effort to ensure his work complies with all relevant ethics guidelines.’
Those “guidelines” include a Trump administration-imposed ban on Catanzaro lobbying the National Economic Council, which is where he worked while in government, for five years. Bloomberg News notes, however, that there isn’t actually any criminal penalty for violating that particular guideline. There is, on the other hand, a more set-in-stone prohibition against former government employees formally lobbying the body for which they worked for one year.
Catanzaro joins a long list of other officials who have departed from the Trump administration in what’s barely a year of its existence. Earlier this year, for instance, Gary Cohn, who had been directing the National Economic Council and serving as the president’s chief economic adviser left in the midst of a disagreement with the president over the imposition of tariffs.
Those tariffs ballooned into recent concerns that a trade war is commencing involving the United States and China.
In addition, Trump energy adviser George David Banks left the administration in February in at least part because he failed to get a security clearance thanks to past usage of marijuana.
Officials without appropriate security clearances have already posed a problem for the White House in other instances, such as that of Jared Kushner, who lost his clearance earlier this year in the midst of a shake-up. He himself had been struggling to pass the relevant background check.
Catanzaro, while in the White House, did not become a necessarily very widely known public figure, but he did work to orchestrate some of the administration’s infamous policies, such as that of propping up the nation’s coal industry and that of undoing major Obama-era environmental protection regulations.
Simultaneous to that, the president has undertaken such moves as trying to withdraw us from the Paris Climate Accord, a move which has, like so many others from the president, been met with harsh opposition.
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