One of President Donald Trump's newest appointees is a registered agent of Saudi Arabia who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby on the kingdom's behalf, according to U.S. Department of Justice records reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity.
Longtime Republican lobbyist Richard Hohlt was appointed by Trump to the Commission on White House Fellowships, a part-time advisory body responsible for making final recommendations to the president of candidates for the prestigious White House fellowships.
Since January, the Saudi Arabian foreign ministry has paid Hohlt about $430,000 in exchange for "advice on legislative and public affairs strategies," according to The Center for Public Integrity.
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Trump's decision to appoint a registered foreign agent clashes with the president's vow to clean up Washington and limit the influence of special interests, The Center for Public Integrity reports.
Trump singled out lobbyists for foreign governments for special criticism, saying they shouldn't be permitted to contribute to political campaigns. Hohlt is himself a Trump donor, though his contributions came before he registered to represent Saudi Arabia.