By on July 27, 2021

Yaya Ernst/Shutterstock.com

Washington, D.C. has long been thought of as a “swamp” of shady dealings, regardless of what party is in charge of the White House and/or Congress at any given time.

The previous president even promised to “drain the swamp,” though his critics would argue he made it swampier than ever.

A close adviser of the current occupant of the White House is now in the spotlight for giving a close relative access to the administration.

According to CNBC, Jeff Ricchetti lobbied the National Security Council (NSC) on behalf of General Motors on “issues related to China.” Ricchetti’s brother, Steve, is a close adviser to president Joe Biden. Jeff Ricchetti was paid $60,000 by GM last quarter for his lobbying work.

The NSC is part of the Executive Office of the President.

It’s headed by the president, and its meetings can be attended by the vice president, the Secretary of State, the Treasury secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Director of National Intelligence, as well as other senior administration officials.

Jeff Ricchetti has tried to distance his work from that of his brother, who helped work on an infrastructure deal between the White House and lawmakers.

The two founded a company together, and that company, Ricchetti Inc., has not previously lobbied the NSC. Jeff Ricchetti told CNBC he no longer lobbies the White House, though he did not answer when asked about who he spoke with on behalf of GM. Nor did he answer when asked to provide specifics on what issues related to China he was lobbying about.

GM gave CNBC this statement: “Jeff Ricchetti among other lobbyists that are registered to advocate on our behalf help GM to advocate for policies that support our customers, dealers and employees, help strengthen our manufacturing presence in the United States and advance our vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

GM had previously lobbied the Trump administration to remove tariffs on the China-built Buick Envision, though it claims Ricchetti himself did not discuss tariffs with the NSC. The request to remove tariffs from the Envision was denied.

The Biden administration has continued many of the Trump-era China trade policies.

Steve Ricchetti’s son has a job in the Biden administration, and Jeff has also lobbied on behalf of healthcare companies. CNBC also reported that Steve Ricchetti had recused himself from anything relating to his brother.

Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, libertarians and Greens — I think most can agree on one thing: The swamp has not, and likely never will be, drained.

[Image: Yaya Ernst/Shutterstock.com]

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38 Comments on “Brother of Top Biden Adviser Lobbied for General Motors...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Drain the swamp? Nope! Rotate the reptiles!

  • avatar
    honda1

    Trump tried to drain the swamp. Now you have bigger swamp rats and a bunch of commie libtards in there! Not to mention an old corrupt man that is losing his mind and a floozie that has absolutely no business or interest in being vp. OK, flame me, but you know I’m right!

    • 0 avatar
      Goatshadow

      No, we just know for sure you’re a moron.

      • 0 avatar
        honda1

        No dude, tell me what was incorrect in what I said, keep drinking the kool-aid.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          So what did Honda1 post that was incorrect?

          1. The sexist language about the VP.
          2. Claiming that elected members of the US Congress are ‘commies’. Obviously has no understanding of the differences in political philosophy.
          3. Using incongruous insulting language, without attempting to state one fact or provide one piece of evidence.
          4. Claiming that Trump tried to ‘drain the swamp’ when he just replaced previous appointees with sycophants, many of whom were indicted/convicted or resigned after their inappropriate conduct/associations were made public.

          • 0 avatar
            crispin001

            Go Honda!!!!!

            Let’s all relax a bit….everyone sees the world differently, and we are all united here by our love for cars ….we’re brothers and sisters….

            1. Sexist? Ask her mentor, Willie Brown, about her…. At least she took it to Biden in the primary debates….so she’s at least got that going for her.
            2. Commies? We’re allowed to criticize US reps if we want to. We can certainly all have an opinion on whether the people of their districts (in their infinite wisdom) should keep sending them back to DC.…..that said, If the squad aren’t commies then they’re pretty close….anti-American for sure, so “commies” is good enough for me.
            3. This is an informal comment board, not Foreign Policy Magazine…let the kid have his fun.
            4. Sycophants abound in DC, so that can’t possibly be a concern. I am sure Trump’s learned their lesson to not go against the establishment when old transgressions (ie ignored when Manifort was previously a member in good standing of the club) were dusted off a-la Weinstein, or they decided to squeeze Flynn, or bankrupt Caputo, etc, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Crispin: we are probably on the opposite ends of the political spectrum but I enjoyed your post. Thanks.

            But then I also agreed with some of what @Slavuta posted here.

      • 0 avatar
        aja8888

        No Dude, he is RIGHT!

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      How do you ‘drain the swamp’ by appointing or being associated with so many who were convicted and/or indicted?

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/08/20/how-many-trump-advisers-were-criminally-charged-steve-bannon-makes-7/5616793002/

      And then you resort to using a derogatory sexist comment?
      And obviously do not understand what ‘communism’ is.

      Perhaps HRC was correct in using the term ‘deplorables’ for at least some of the former guy’s supporters?

      • 0 avatar
        honda1

        So she’s not a floozie, c’mon man!

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          Anyone who says “commie libtard” is an original thinking, perceptive individual.

          [I’m into Ron Swanson jokes these days].

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Actually, having some experience with it, commies were not liberals at all.

            Freedom of speech – no, opinion different from comm. party – no. Porn – no. Gays – no, private business – no.

            The only closest to liberals group of people I see in US – Republicans. Those who call themselves liberals are more of fascist kind.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Love it when folks just show up for the political posts to flame. Call me when you have something to say about cars, Einstein.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      This swamp, I wouldn’t even drain. Just dump on it as much napalm as possible.

    • 0 avatar

      Sure, had we allowed the MAGA to hang Pence, it would all be OK now, right ?

      right ?

    • 0 avatar
      STRATOS

      Do you really believe he tried to drain the swamp by making it bigger, adding even more toxic monsters.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Trump may well have tried to “Stop The Steal” as well. With just as much success as any other clueless poodle is likely to have at higher math.

      Catchy slogans are nice, and Trump ain’t bad as far as being a showman and reading his audience goes. But, if you know nothing, understand nothing, can nothing, have no aptitude for anything, no competence at anything, and are simply a vapid, if occasionally entertaining, dunce: Who the heck cares what your vapid little self may have “tried?”

      Everyone “tries.” Unfortunately, in The Age of Incompetence, none of that matters one whit.

      Like all Caudillos coming before him, going back to at least Jefferson: Trump simple provided yet another piece of corroborating evidence for the so far ironclad law that for all N, President N is strictly inferior, or at least presides over a government strictly inferior, to President N-1.

      Ditto Biden.

      It’s called being a society in unbroken free-fall.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Lobbyists are a necessary element of managing the government, because they inform lawmakers about issues with which they are unfamiliar – which is just about everything.

    As with lawyers, everybody loves to hate lobbyists until they need one.

    But the question is – did anything illegal or unethical occur here? Guilt by association is flimsy evidence.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      It’s unclear if laws or ethics rules were broken, but obviously Jeff likely gets easier access to the NSC/WH than he would if Steve isn’t his brother. Whether you find that unethical or not is up to you…though we do note Steve recused himself, which is the right thing to do.

      I, personally, am not arguing things one way or another…this is a (minor) news piece.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “Lobbyists are a necessary element of managing the government, because they inform lawmakers about issues with which they are unfamiliar – which is just about everything.”

      Thanks for reminding me why I usually don’t read your posts. Shame on me.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Brilliant – I suppose you’d prefer our legislators vote in ignorance about every issue presented before them?

        How else do you think they can possibly cast an educated vote on any subject?

        Would you be an expert in every topic that affected your constituents?

        • 0 avatar
          haze3

          Lobbyists do serve a necessary educational function.

          What makes us rightfully uncomfortable is that access to educate is unequal (mainly about $) and the education comes with an agenda. The system produces a biased battle of advocates, not a serious search for solutions that are best for the nation.

          Still, in this case, it doesn’t feel like anything outside of accepted norms is going on.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    The definition of a good lobbyist, by necessity, involves personal and professional connections within the interested parties…

    By all accounts these brothers are both very wealthy and connected people…but we are missing the untoward act, the fraud, the obvious benefit…”Access” aint it…

    Steve Ricchetti is a career insider….he was Biden’s second chief of staff when Biden was vice president. A longtime aide to Biden, Ricchetti was a deputy chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton. During the George W. Bush era, Ricchetti worked as a lobbyist.

    This is not the same thing we saw under Trump (see the anti-nepotism statute) and to tacitly equate the two is pretty reckless…

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      To be clear, we/I wasn’t trying to “bothsides” or false equivalence this. Just wanted to point out that a key GM lobbyist was getting access, probably more easily than most, due to his connections. We report, you decide, et al.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Um… Lobbyists, the well paid ones do have better connections, more connections, and more influential connections.

        “We report, you decide, et al.’

        “you decide”

        – Political flame wars are great for clicks.
        – Any decisions will be based upon political affiliation.

        evidence?

        That’s what differentiates journalism from gossip or conspiracy theory.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    As if we needed a reminder that the system is broken…

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Sure he’s corrupt…but he’s not the last corrupt guy, so it’s all good!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Why is this news?

    “Brother of Biden official gets audience with NSC” – who cares?

  • avatar
    jkross22

    If you imagine government corruption as a table with 4 legs, what would you say those 4 legs are in government? Everyone’s list will be different, but probably more similarities than differences. My list:

    – money in politics
    – lobbyists hired to retard public will/public goods
    – exaperated/disengaged majority voters not showing up on election day for local/state races
    – voters ignorant of/unwillingness to admit they voted for the wrong person.

  • avatar
    NigelShiftright

    “because they inform lawmakers about issues with which they are unfamiliar – which is just about everything.”

    Reducing the amount of legislation on the books by, say ninety percent, would solve this problem nicely.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    ‘This, but that. While I’m not saying the other, the other.’

    Weak writeup by the current Managing Editor.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitting_on_the_fence

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