President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to be deputy secretary of defense, William Lynn, violates his campaign pledge that no lobbyists will be allowed on his team working on subjects they’ve recently lobbied on, Transition officials acknowledged Friday.
Officials say they were aware that Lynn had lobbied for defense giant Raytheon as recently as last summer, but they defended their pick.
By Jack Tapper
“Because Mr. Lynn came so highly recommended from experts across the political spectrum, the president-elect felt it was critical that he fill this position,” said Obama Transition spokesman Tommy Vietor. “We are aware that Mr. Lynn lobbied for Raytheon, and are working with Mr. Lynn to craft a role for him that is consistent with the president-elect’s high standards while balancing the need to fill this critical national security position.”
Lynn, a former undersecretary of defense in the Clinton administration, currently serves as senior vice president of government operations and strategy at Raytheon, a military contractor. The deputy defense secretary traditionally supervises hiring such contractors.