When former Mississippi senator Trent Lott announced last November that he was retiring from the Senate, he was asked if he had registered with the Senate Ethics Committee because of “a rule” requiring registration “if you’re negotiating with a future employer.” Lott said that he had “not” because he said he had not made any formal plans:
LOTT: Well, I have not yet, but I’m not really involved in negotiation. I’ve tried to stay away from that. There are some opportunities out there that I want to be able to consider, but I have nothing that we’ve agreed to or lined up.
Earlier this month, Lott announced that he and former Lousiana Sen. John Breaux (D) were forming “a powerful lobbying partnership called The Breaux Lott Leadership Group.”
Appearing with Breaux on MSNBC’s Hardball today, Lott contradicted his previous statements by admitting that he chose to “leave the Senate” in order to form the “bipartisan firm” with Breaux, saying “it just seemed like it was time”:
LOTT: Plus, John and I’d talk about the idea of getting together and forming a bipartisan firm, for years we kind of joked about it, and then it just seemed like it was time for us to see if we could do this. I think there’s going to be a big demand frankly, for someone who can talk to both sides of the aisle.
Since the day Lott announced his resignation, he and Breaux have been denying that they had any “formal” plans to work together, claiming that they had only “joked about the prospect of working together.”
But their story has always been hard to believe. Six weeks before Lott announced his retirement, his son, Chet, “secured the rights to the domain name” breauxlott.com. Days after the announcement, Breaux resigned from lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs.