Sec. Steve Mnuchin Refutes Reporter’s Portrayal of Davos as ‘Hangout for Globalists’

One reporter asked Mnuchin of the Trump administration’s decision to send a large delegation to the event: “What is the point of the Trump administration going to a place that is regarded, usually, as a hangout for globalists?”

“Well, I don’t think it’s a hangout for globalists,” Mnuchin shot back.

.. The secretary said the economic team’s purpose at the high-profile gathering “is going to go over and talk about the America First economic strategy.”

President Donald Trump will attend Davos from January 23 to January 26 and it will be lead by Mnuchin. During Thursday’s briefing, Mnuchin said, “We’re thrilled that the president is coming, and I think what we know is that the economy that’s good for the U.S. is good for the rest of the world.”

Other members of the delegation include Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Tom Bossert, Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser to the president Jared Kushner, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development Mark Green, and Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb.

.. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders later released a list of additional members that will travel as part of the delegation to Davos: Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn as well as other members of the White House staff. They will be traveling with the president.

With Trump Appointees, a Raft of Potential Conflicts and ‘No Transparency’

President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck.

.. In at least two cases, the appointments may have already led to violations of the administration’s own ethics rules. But evaluating if and when such violations have occurred has become almost impossible because the Trump administration is secretly issuing waivers to the rules.

Michael Catanzaro .. was working as a lobbyist for major industry clients such as Devon Energy of Oklahoma, an oil and gas company, and Talen Energy of Pennsylvania, a coal-burning electric utility, as they fought Obama-era environmental regulations, including the landmark Clean Power Plan.

.. Chad Wolf, who spent the past several years lobbying to secure funding for the Transportation Security Administration to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a new carry-on luggage screening device.

two officials joined the agency from the K Street lobbying corridor .. where they fought some of the Obama administration’s signature labor rules, including a policy requiring financial advisers to act in a client’s best interest

.. the president eliminated an ethics provision that prohibits lobbyists from joining agencies they lobbied in the prior two years.

.. Mr. Trump’s appointees are also far wealthier and have more complex financial holdings and private-sector ties

.. comply with federal ethics laws, such as a prohibition on using a government post to personally profit.

.. made it easier for former lobbyists in the government to get waivers that would let them take up matters that could benefit former clients.

.. sharing them is no longer required.

.. D. J. Gribbin, the council’s infrastructure specialist, previously worked for Macquarie, a bank that specializes in infrastructure deals

.. Shakira Knight .. as a lobbyist for Fidelity

.. she was registered to work on retirement issues, including the so-called fiduciary rule

.. under Mr. Trump’s executive order, Ms. Knight should probably be barred for two years from participating in decisions that would affect the fiduciary rule.

Geoffrey Burr ..  who was a lobbyist for the Associated Builders and Contractors, which pressed the agency on its overtime pay rule, wage requirements for government contracts and an additional half-dozen or so other regulations

.. Mr. Burr would probably not have been able to join the Labor Department.

.. Such potential conflicts are showing up across the federal government.

.. Executives at Anagogic Corp .. CT scans, which are already used broadly in the medical field and on checked baggage. The company now wants the T.S.A. to use them in the nation’s 2,400 airport checkpoint security lanes, a move that could be worth at least $500 million in equipment sales.

.. Mr. Wolf’s Twitter account on Friday still identified him as a lobbyist and displayed posts from last year urging the T.S.A. to buy the devices.

.. A T.S.A. spokesman agreed to arrange an interview with Mr. Wolf — who worked at the agency during the Bush administration before becoming a lobbyist — but canceled it when told about the topic in detail.

.. Lance Leggitt, who serves as chief of staff to Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, worked last year as a lobbyist for 10 different health care companies

.. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration, received more than $350,000 in payments in 2014 and 2015 from nearly a dozen different pharmaceutical companies

treatments .. carry list prices of more than $250,000 a year.

.. We know people coming in who have conflicts, and we cannot see what restrictions they are under, if any.”

.. Even if the rules are enforced, so many senior officials will be required to recuse themselves that “they will have a hard time getting their job done.”