Newt Gingrich: Donald Trump's "drain the swamp" promise was "cute, but he doesn't want to use it anymore"

Like so many of his other promises, Trump plans on breaking his famous pledge to "drain the swamp"

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published December 21, 2016 5:20PM (EST)

Newt Gingrich   (AP/Dennis Van Tine)
Newt Gingrich (AP/Dennis Van Tine)

For the second time this week, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has basically said that you shouldn't take Donald Trump's pledges seriously.

Days after basically saying Trump's White House is going to be an ethics-free zone, Gingrich admitted that Trump has told him that he isn't going to "drain the swamp," even though it one of the most famous promises of his campaign.

"I'm told he now just disclaims that," Gingrich told NPR's Rachel Martin on Wednesday morning. "He now says it was cute, but he doesn't want to use it anymore."

Gingrich later added, "I'd written what I thought was a very cute tweet about 'the alligators are complaining,' and somebody wrote back and said they were tired of hearing this stuff."

In addition to being criticized for staffing his administration with billionaires and insiders despite promising to "drain the swamp," Trump has also expressed willingness to break his campaign promises to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border, repeal the Affordable Care Act right away upon taking office, and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton.

Gingrich actually touched upon that last broken promise in his NPR interview as well.

"I've noticed on a couple of fronts, like people chanting 'lock her up,' that he's in a different role now and maybe he feels that as president, as the next president of the United States, that he should be marginally more dignified than talking about alligators in swamps," Gingrich told Martin, implicitly acknowledging the connection between Trump's "lock her up" and "drain the swamp" slogans in the process (namely, that they were promises he subsequently broke).

"I personally have, as a sense of humor, like the alligator and swamp language," Gingrich added, before noting that "all the people in this city who are the alligators are going to hate the swamp being drained. And there's going to be constant fighting over it. But, you know, he is my leader and if he decides to drop the swamp and the alligator, I will drop the swamp and the alligator."

Listen to Gingrich's interview below, courtesy of NPR.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump Drain The Swamp Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton Newt Gingrich