Politics

Team Trump Adds Another Ex-Lobbyist

The GOP front-runner hires Rick Wiley

Donald Trump greets supporters after speaking at a campaign rally in Albany.  (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

Who says Donald Trump doesn't like lobbyists?  

Despite the GOP presidential front-runner's own rhetoric that he is immune from the influence of lobbyists and special interests, his campaign's latest high-profile hire is another formerly registered lobbyist.  

Rick Wiley, who managed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's unsuccessful presidential campaign earlier this year, is joining Team Trump as national political director, the real estate mogul's campaign announced Wednesday.  

"Rick is a seasoned political expert with a very successful career in winning elections," said a statement from Trump. "He brings decades of experience, and his deep ties to political leaders and activists across the country will be a tremendous asset as we enter the final phase of securing the nomination."  

Wiley was registered to lobby in 1999 and 2000 as a field representative for the Associated Builders and Contractors, the construction industry's lobby, according to disclosures filed with Congress .  

He also served as the Republican National Committee's political director in the 2012 cycle where the RNC's chairman, Reince Priebus, was his boss. Trump has been feuding with the RNC over delegate and party convention rules.  

Wiley follows the Trump campaign's recent hiring of another former K Streeter, Paul Manafort, whose past representation of foreign governments has sparked criticism from Trump's opponents. Manafort was hired to be Trump’s convention manager, in part because he managed President Gerald Ford’s battle against Ronald Reagan at the 1976 GOP convention.  

Wiley's private-sector work was not limited to the construction industry group. He joined the government relations and political consulting firm Mercury in 2013, after his time at the RNC. Wiley worked there with Michael DuHaime, who was a senior strategist for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's failed presidential campaign this cycle. Christie has backed Trump.  

Contact Ackley at kateackley@rollcall.com or on Twitter @kackleyz. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.