One of Washington's most notorious lobbyists is singing the same tune as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders when it comes to corruption on Capitol Hill.
Jack Abramoff, dubbed by Time as "the man who bought Washington," was once among the most influential power players in U.S. politics, rubbing elbows with figures like Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman and President George W. Bush before being enveloped in scandal in the mid-2000s. There is little Abramoff didn't do during his time as a lobbyist to ensure his clients garnered favors from government, including lavishing gifts and campaign contributions on members of both houses of Congress on both sides of the aisle.
After serving 43 months in federal prison for his misdeeds, Abramoff has now emerged a reformed figure. He says Washington, D.C. has been corrupted by money nearly beyond repair and is calling for an overhaul of the system -- not unlike what the democratic socialist senator from Vermont has been saying on the presidential campaign trail, or, for that matter, billionaire businessman Donald Trump.
"Washington is about one thing, folks, and that's about power. Grabbing power, Keeping power, grabbing money, spending money," Abramoff said at a debate Wednesday hosted by Intelligence Squared U.S. in New York City. "The system that has developed is so immensely corrupt, is so corrosive of what we all believe -- what we were all raised to think about our government that the American people are rising up, and we just need to join them."