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Earlier in March, news broke that the White House had declined to award a contract for an ethics course aimed at senior staffers, Cabinet nominees and others holding political appointments in the Trump administration.

The decision made news because the Trump administration was already under fire for alleged ethical lapses. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned after allegedly failing to disclose information about his lobbying work and his communications with Russia; Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations into Russian interference with the election after news stories revealed that he had also met with Russian officials; and the United States Office of Government Ethics recommended that the White House consider disciplinary action against adviser Kellyanne Conway for using her position to endorse Ivanka Trump’s branded merchandise.

Media reports said the Trump team saw the decision to scrap the ethics training, previously adopted by both the Bush and Obama administrations, as improving efficiency: the program was estimated to cost one million dollars, and could be seen as wasteful because staff had already been through ethics training before the inauguration.

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Image: By Teodoraturovic – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46283304

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