Donald Trump is no longer interested in 'draining the swamp' says senior advisor Newt Gingrich

The President-elect repeatedly made the claim during the election campaign

Daria Segalini
New York
Wednesday 21 December 2016 18:22 GMT
Picture: (Getty)

It looks like Donald Trump does not want to “drain the swamp” after all.

Despite all his talk during the election campaign that he would turn his back on lobbyists and the Washington political establishment, the President-elect may have had a rethink, at least according to one of his senior advisors.

“I’m told he now just disclaims that,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told NPR, when asked about Mr Trump’s boast. “He now says it was cute, but he doesn’t want to use it anymore.”

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has been a senior adviser to Donald Trump
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has been a senior adviser to Donald Trump (John Sommers II/Getty Images)

Mr Gingrich, who was at one point being considered for the post of secretary of state, is currently serving as vice chairman of the Trump transition team. He speculated that Mr Trump might feel that, as he is the President-elect, “he should be marginally more dignified” than leading crowds in chants such as “drain the swamp” and “lock her up”.

Mr Trump started calling for “draining the swamp” at his rallies sometime in mid-October and it soon became a favourite amongst his supporters, who continue to chant it at the Thank You Tour rallies Mr Trump has been holding in the states he won.

Donald Trump completes victory tour by declaring 'we have tremendous hope'

While it seemed to be a pledge by the President-elect to clean up the corruption in Washington, many believe it may have been no more than a ploy of sorts as Trump himself admitted recently at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Funny how that term caught on, isn’t it,” Mr Trump said, in response to the crowd chanting. “I tell everyone, I hated it. Somebody said ‘drain the swamp’ and I said, ‘Oh, that is so hokey. That is so terrible’.”

“I said, all right, I’ll try it,” Mr Trump continued. “So like a month ago I said ‘drain the swamp’ and the place went crazy. And I said ‘Whoa, what’s this?’ Then I said it again. And then I start saying it like I meant it, right? And then I started to love it, and the place loved it. Drain the swamp. It’s true. It’s true. Drain the swamp.”

The Associated Press said that Mr Trump’s team say he is still committed to some swamp-draining policies, like barring lobbyists from his transition team or administration unless they de-register and a ban on outgoing transition and future administration members from lobbying for five years.

“President-elect Trump's ethics reform policies are full speed ahead,” said Jason Miller, the transition spokesman. “We're going to change the way business is done in Washington and start putting the American people first.”

Yet others have pointed out that his cabinet picks, such as Wall Street insider Steve Mnuchin as head of the Treasury Department and investor Wilbur Ross at Commerce, suggest the oppposite.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in